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Eastwind at Mobile World Congress 2018: Results, Trends and New Ideas

14 march 2018

Technologies that only recently were contemplated in the context of the future have become our present. Eastwind team that visited the congress describe how the world and telecom are changing in this regard. 

Compared with 2017, the list of the main technologies of global digitalization has remained the same. The Barcelona event yet again discussed AI, the Internet of things, virtual and augmented reality and 5G. One important difference: the congress saw more practical solutions presented this year.
Manufacturers are instantly snatching innovations from one another, and devices by different vendors are becoming more and more similar. Be it an expensive front-runner for the "Best Android-smartphone" from Samsung or a gadget from one of multiple budget-friendly Chinese companies. For example, almost all vendors have minimized the bezels, except Nokia with their pushbutton “banana phone” from The Matrix. Vivo Apex with a sliding selfie camera went above and beyond: it was dubbed the “first truly bezel-less phone”.  
The rest tried to impress us with the “stuffing”. The double camera in Galaxy S9 and S9+, intelligent flashes,and improved video processing– all imaginable trinkets for picture people are in trend. Important point: manufacturers are squeezing more and more AI technologies into smartphones. Don’t be surprised if yournew phone knowswhat you need much better than you do. For example, Huawei and Samsung chips recognize which object you are holding in the camera's sight and adjust the settings for a better image. 
Devices "think" independently and are trained on your habits. This appliesequallyto built-in software from the mobile giantsand new applications offered by small start-ups. For example, the Ice service can recognize your mood from how you sound onthe phoneand determineswhich of your contacts canmake you feelhappier. When you are out of sorts, the application will suggest whom you better call to cheer up. 
New devices not only studyyour habits, but also help youacquirenew ones. So, thesmall baro. robot will teach you how to sit properly – so as not todamageyourspine. The device "sitting" on yourdesktop uses sensors to track your position and then reproduce it on “itself”. If you deviate from normal– baro.’seyes will light up red and remind you of the importance of correct posture.  
The standard for 5G networks was adopted as recently as December 2017,yet atMWC in February, Telefonica, Vodafone, Orange and othercarriers alreadymade statements about the technology launch before the end of 2018. The stand of every majorcompany featured practical applications of thenew gen data transmissionrates. 5G capabilities weredemonstrated forall types of communications: from phones and Internet sensors of things to unmanned vehicles and VR-devices.
“Apple, Google, Microsoft and other giants have found ways of connecting to a larger audience than previously in history,– argued Oren Jacob, CEO of PullString, – And this is our reality today. Many people and companies are connected in a single device. Therefore, the role of telecommunications is especially important now, although it may seem that they stand a bit aside. After all, it is through the telecoms that companies build relationships with customers using this new language of our time. The quality of communication, the comfort of consumers, the consideration of their needs and habits are important. All these put together make a conversation – and there is nothing more connecting than talking to someone.”   
Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai unveiled plans to hold auctions for the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands later in the year. He says it is the new generation of communication that will give impetus to the ubiquitous spread of “5G apps of the future". The global development of technology is foreshadowed by 2020. 
Many speakers at the Congress emphasized the special role of the telecom and the importance of its modern development. The reputation of operators was discussed in small discussions among industry representatives, and in front of a huge audience of the conference hall.
Simon Cotterell, Head of Strategy at Interbrand, noted that over the past five years, the expectations of consumers of communication services have grown many times. At the same time, operators have to cope with increased volumes of data and issues of confidentiality and information security. France Heringer-Jallot from Customer Experience of Orange agreed with that, adding that today’s users expect high levels of both digitalization and friendliness. And, since all the complex solutions remain hidden under the smartphone lid, consumers often have no idea how much effort is invested by the operators to meet these high expectations. 
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao stressed that in the better future communication operators are going to become ideal service providers. In his opinion, data transfer rates of up to 5GB per day per user mean we are mentally prepared now for a fully digitized world. And the telecom, with its technology, will be able to build this reality for us in the next 3-5 years. Operators are investing in fast wireless communications to connect increasingly more objects to the Internet of things. IoT applications in medicine, in industries, in the automotive industry have taken hold in Europe. Asian startups are developing new devices for smart homes and smart cities. Once all these gadgets become more accessible, with communication able to ensure their seamless integration - we are in for a rapid digitalization of the everyday life.  
Yogesh Malik from Veon group said the greatest challenge before the industry nowadays is the need to combine high quality of communication with high quality services. Telecoms will lose relevance to users unless they can provide both. Hence entails the main question that bugs operators today – how to shift from the mass market to the micro level of personalized communications? So, the next step in the development has to be even deeper analysis of data and maximum individualization of communication services for each user.
In discussions of further development, one of the most interesting topics was the search for alternative uses of mobile networks. In particular, the representatives of leading companies talked about providing access to PSTNs in countries with less developed telecom infrastructure. 
Maureen C. McLaughlin, Vice President for Public Policy at Iridium, presented Iridium NEXT – a next-generation mobile global satellite network. It will incorporate sixty-six satellites providing Internet access from any point on the globe. At the moment, a phased launch of satellites and their testing are underway. In 2018, investments in Iridium Next will amount to 3 billion dollars.
Philippe Llau, Director of Key Accounts & Alliances at Eutelsat updated us on the progress of another global satellite network - Eutelsat Communications. The project stimulates the social and economic development of society, providing broadband communication throughout the world. The network already operates in Africa, Europe and Russia.   
The figures presented by the organizers have been impressive: over a million meetings were held at MWC in 2018; an average visitor walked about 10 kilometers around the Fira Gran Via exhibition complex; delegates from around the world consumed 1.5 million cups of coffee and water. These statistics show: a humongous number of people gathered in Barcelona in search of solutions for a better tomorrow and today for everyone. 
It was a pleasure to be among them: Eastwind’s products reflected the major trends of customer care in the telecom. Mobile Marketing Platform and Polyphone Universe help operators to customize individual communication with the user and protect their data. Our systems help people navigate the sea of information – they also help telecoms to find the way to personalization that everyone is talking about, and save their own resources.    
"Why do we say that a better future for mobile technologies? Because today they change the world every day,Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA said in his speech. - Mobile technologies are saving lives in Kenya, giving voice to Syrian refugees in Turkey, helping to spread important information, and much more – you can learn about it from the campaign #CaseForChange. We can predict the future needs of the world around and be in time to protect those who need help. I am convinced that a united society is a happy society. You cannot underestimate the impact of mobile technology on billions of people and you cannot ignore terabytes of data produced by us. All this is the key to a sustainable, rich and dynamic digital economy."
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