Mobile World Congress 2018: Day 1 Impressions

Last updated: 14 October 2019

It’s been an exciting first day here in Barcelona, with the world’s media eager to see what the leading mobile industry players are showcasing this year. As expected, the latest smartphones from Samsung, Sony and Nokia dominated the headlines. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ as well as the Xperia XZ2 pushed what’s possible at the top end of the market. Meanwhile Nokia continued its recent momentum by bringing back another iconic design with an updated 8110 – this time in banana yellow with 4G.

Companies also went out of their way to attract show-goers to their stands. Virtual reality continues to be a draw, with the attractions more daring than ever.

Many experiences were also wacky, with visitors sent either to space (in a space-suit!) or up into the air to enjoy a hot-air balloon ride.

Beyond the hype a lot of the progress seen at this year’s show is happening with software. New animated emojis and 3D selfies were on show from Samsung and Sony.

Moving beyond handsets, it was evident that 5G is the dominant theme of the show, with countless meetings taking place between network operators, device manufacturers and service providers. And while we will have to wait until MWC 2019 for actual 5G devices, it is clear that we are beyond the early proof-of-concept and pilot phase. Now companies are starting to show what will be possible. One area this is evident is in the connected car space.

While everyone is still waiting for driverless cars, the real excitement is coming though the connected services now enabled by high-speed connectivity: that’s everything from connecting your streaming services, to ordering dinner on the way home. Seat in particular had a pretty comprehensive vision of what this would look like:

After wandering the halls of Mobile World Congress, it really hits home how much we must secure and authenticate all the identity data that flows through networks. Adding payments to our cars is a very welcome feature, but fraud cannot be allowed to emerge as a threat.

Today’s most important interactions demand that we can trust who people say that they are. That’s why trusted digital identities are so important. And biometrics are an important aspect of this – we need to capture data, verfify its authenticity and then digitize it. As ever, MWC shows a vision of the future that is exciting and open. We’re working to ensure that it is also secure.

If you are at the show, do drop by the Gemalto stand. We are located in Hall 2 booth 2J41 and would be delighted to discuss how we can create trusted digital identities in an era of on-demand connectivity, and forthcoming 5G cloud services.

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