Displaying items by tag: MWC

Thursday, 24 September 2020 05:06

MWC 2021 postponed to late June

Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industry’s largest global conference, has been postponed to late June 2021.

The conference usually takes place in late February or early March in Barcelona, Spain but it was canceled in 2020 as it coincided with the very beginning of the widespread COVID-19 outbreak.

It has now been announced that it will actually be held in 2021 but later than usual. MWC Barcelona will be held between June 28th and July 1st and MWC Shanghai is slotted in for 23rd to 25th February 2021.

The organization behind the event, the GSMA, anticipates that vaccines will be more widely available by then, catering to an estimate of around 85% of the hundred largest companies in the mobile sector.

The GSMA said that it will “have virtual elements to complement the overwhelming demand to convene physically.

MWC Los Angeles remains unchanged as it will take place later in the year. According to the GSMA, the event is scheduled for 26th to 28th October 2021.

Published in Reports

Accenture, a global professional services company in the IT sector, unveiled a series of exciting new e-commerce solutions at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. It was in the area of IoT and 'connected devices' that Accenture excelled and garnered most attention. The IT services colossus outlined its plans to implement technologies in order to create what it describes as 'frictionless transactions'.

In one demonstration, Accenture representatives displayed an application which would enable a driver to be able to fill up his car with whatever fuel the particular model required, proceed to pay for the transaction, receive a receipt and avail of some instore offers and discounts without even getting out of his vehicle. The driver wouldn't have to communicate with onsite staff in order to facilitate all these tasks – all the driver would have to do is use the mobile application, or the application designated for the vehicle dashboard.

According to Managing Director of Accenture Digital, Richard Meszaros, who also heads Accenture's commerce team, the key focus from Accenture's point of view is enabling its clients to avail of the new 'innovation architecture' the company is providing - and to create new commerce models to provide services in an autonomous fashion.

"We're really focusing on a lot of the innovations that we work on with our clients in order to create our new Accenture innovation architecture," said Meszaros. "I lead our commerce tower, which is focused on enabling new commerce models within the world of Internet of Things. Some of the things we're focusing on at MWC include an IoT marketplace that allows devices to make purchases for consumer services in an autonomous manner."

In addition, the Accenture executive spoke of the company's vision for blockchain technology with a particular focus on its specific use for smart solutions such as contracts and other related devices which can be connected.

"We're also focusing on blockchain technology and specifically its use for smart contracts and the ability to use that capability to be able to automate a complex transaction across a broad ecosystem of partners, and this, along with our innovation architecture, is just two examples of some of the solutions we're showcasing here at Mobile World Congress."

When asked about how he viewed the impact IoT would have on businesses and organizations that adopt it, Meszaros was emphatic that not only would the area continue to expand rapidly but that it had the unique potential to allow companies to completely transform their business and redefine structures.

"Depending on the research you see, there will be anywhere between 30-50 billion devices by the end of this decade," he said. "What I think is really exciting is that these devices are becoming smart and contextually aware – which allows our clients with Accenture's help to reinvent their entire business models.

"It enables them to be able to take advantage of the unique capabilities of these devices and all of the data that is available to really define new ways to serve their customers, create new business opportunities, and ultimately address challenges in their business today, and that's the most exciting thing for us at Accenture."

IoT is a big topic that has transfixed the industry and research indicates it's about to get a lot, lot bigger in the forthcoming years. However, as more and more businesses embrace the technology; one issue that consistently arises is that of IoT security.

Can organizations protect their data from cybersecurity attacks when adopting IoT devices? Meszaros believes security is of "paramount importance" in relation to IoT for Accenture – but said it was important to find out firstly what data is on the device and establish whether or not the device actually needs access to it.

"Security has to be paramount when you think about IoT and how these devices will interact with these new ecosystems," said Meszaros. "I think the key area to think about is what data is on the device. We have to establish whether or not that device needs access to the data or if it can it be tokenized for instance to be able to facilitate the transaction."

In an e-commerce environment, no consumer would want to put a 16 digit credit card number into a refrigerator, Meszaros explained, but the ability to use a token that represents that payment credential and that fridge could initiate that transaction by using that token. "It's a great example of how the industry can use existing capabilities to be able to facilitate these new next generation commerce experiences."

These are exciting times for Accenture which indicated clearly at MWC that it will be vying to retain its position at the forefront of IoT technologies in the forthcoming years as mass adoption of IoT and the creation of connected applications, devices and platforms continue to expand at a rapid pace.

However, for now, according to Meszaros, Accenture's vision is to help its clients take advantage of the new IoT world and allow them to innovate and transform their business by using Accenture's solutions.

"What we're about is helping our clients take advantage of this new IoT world and to innovate in that area, so that's what is so exciting about the release of Accenture innovation architecture," said Meszaros.

"It allows us to work with our clients from concept all the way to rapid prototyping, to scaling these solutions all the way to an enterprise launch. That's primarily what we're focused on here at Mobile World Congress: how we can help our clients transform and innovate in their business using that architecture."

Published in Interviews

ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, announced at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, it launched its next-generation end-to-end (E2E) Public Cloud rich communication services (RCS) solution that helps customers reform service deployment, service interconnection and business models.

The solution fully satisfies global operators' requirements for rapid access, capacity expansion and functionality of the RCS service. To be specific, the solution can help small and medium-sized operators and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) rapidly deploy cloud-based RCS at low cost, and help large operators put cloud RCS into trial commercial use to initiate users.

Based on the interoperability of cloud platforms, ZTE's Public Cloud RCS platform supports interconnection between different operators including international branches, and can interconnect with their private RCS platforms through its RCS hub. It also achieves interconnection between operators and equipment vendors.

With the ZTE Public Cloud RCS solution, operators can develop RCS in flexible business models including service lease, service purchase and revenue share while greatly reducing investment costs and risks.

At the event, ZTE showcased all service functionalities of the Public Cloud RCS solution. The solution enhances traditional SMS and MMS functions to support instant messaging, group chat, messaging video and file, and location sharing. It also enhances the traditional call service to support voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), voice over WiFi (VoWiFi), multi-party audio/video call and Enrich Call.

ZTE also demonstrated its industry-first RCS set-top-box (STB) that uses RCS as the Smart Home entrance, and provides a multi-party video call function to converge with the Big Video service, thus promoting traffic consumption and monetizing traffic. As Mr. Zhu Jinyun, SVP of ZTE, mentioned, RCS will be more than an entrance of Smart Home and will bring greater value to individuals, homes, governments and enterprises in the future.

In addition, the ZTE Public Cloud RCS solution opens standard application program interface (APIs) or software development kits (SDKs) to upstream and downstream players to establish a sustainable ecosystem. At the event, ZTE announced its cooperation with Voipswitch, a world-leading VoIP solution provider. Both parties will combine technical and marketing strengths, to introduce more Internet functionalities and UI customization capabilities to RCS to offer users richer and better experiences, looking to building up a strong ecosystem.

The GSMA's latest data shows that the RCS service has been put into commercial use with 50 operators in 36 countries, representing up to 156 RCS native terminals. Top telecom operators such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and internet giants such as Google have been actively promoting RCS development. As Mr. Zhu said, RCS can help operators upgrade basic telecom services, unify number entrances, and open telecom capabilities, which becomes an inevitable choice for operators. As a major player in RCS, ZTE will continue to work with partners to boost RCS development.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 06:53

MWC 2017: Mobile, the next element

If we want to describe the role of mobile in today’s world, the list is never-ending. Mobile is the force behind every emerging innovation; it is revolutionary, ever-adapting and dynamic. Mobile has definitely become fundamental to our everyday lives.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s biggest and best mobile industry event, a massive exhibition, an award-winning conference, outstanding networking opportunities, partner programs and the Glomo Awards will all take place.

Organized by the GSMA, MWC will take place in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Spain, at two venues: Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc from Monday, 27 February to Thursday, 2 March.

“We have a great event lined up for February. I’m particularly excited about the conference, where we’ll see several keynote speakers make their Mobile World Congress debut,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer, GSMA. “Across the entire event, attendees will have the opportunity to explore and experience the cutting-edge technologies, products and services that have become so fundamental to our everyday lives.”

The confirmed keynote speakers for the four-day conference program, representing companies across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industry sectors, include: Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman, Bharti Enterprises and chairman-elect, GSMA; Takashi Niino, president and CEO, NEC Corporation; Reed Hastings, founder and CEO, Netflix; Bob Moritz, global chairman, PwC; Allison Kirkby, president and Group CEO, Tele2; John Martin, chairman and CEO, Turner; Jeff Lawson, founder, CEO and chairman, Twilio; Patrick Gelsinger, CEO, VMware

As for the major exhibition highlights, Innovation City will feature more innovative mobile products and services than ever before, allowing visitors to explore and connect with the latest innovation in areas such as 5G, the internet of things, security and identity. Huawei and UNLIMIT powered by Reliance are the newest organizations participating in the Innovation City, joining previously confirmed companies AT&T, Cisco Jasper, KT Corporation and Sierra Wireless in a unique experiential exhibition space.

Furthermore, new for the 2017 edition of Mobile World Congress, NEXTech will showcase forward-thinking companies and disruptive technologies, from virtual reality/augmented reality and robotics, to cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and more. The hall features several pavilions and zones including the NEXTech Pavilion (incorporating VR/AR, robotics and AI), the IoT Pavilion and the Drone Zone. The NEXTech Lab will also form part of the pavilion, with an open theatre offering content-led presentations by industry experts leading in these cutting-edge technologies.

Building on the success of the Graphene Pavilion in 2016, the Graphene Flagship, a consortium of over 150 academic and industrial research groups in 23 countries, will return to Mobile World Congress with the Graphene Experience Zone. Additionally, on Thursday, March 2, the Graphene Flagship will present a full-day conference on graphene and its impact on the mobile industry, featuring a keynote speech by Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov focusing on “From Datacom to IoT, Enabled by Graphene”.

As for the Women4Tech (W4T) Summit, which will include presentations from leaders in mobile and related industries, it will be held on Thursday, March 2 and is sponsored by Accenture.

Additional companies participating at Mobile World Congress, includes Baidu, BT Group, China Mobile, GoPro, MasterCard, Netflix, NTT DOCOMO, Ooredoo, PayPal, SEAT, SK Telecom, Tencent, Twitter and Verizon. These companies join previously announced exhibitors including AOL, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Ford, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HTC, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Oracle, Orange, Philips Lighting, Qualcomm Incorporated, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Sony Mobile, Telefónica, Vodafone, Volkswagen and ZTE, among others.

The Mobile World Congress is the cornerstone of the Mobile World Capital that encompasses programs and activities that span the entire year and will benefit not only the citizens of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, but also the worldwide mobile industry.

Published in Reports

Finnish vendor Nokia plans to re-launch its classic 3310 mobile phone at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The phone, originally released in 2000, has been dubbed the ‘world’s most reliable phone’. The device will be sold for just 59 euros, and will likely be pitched as a reliable and hardy nostalgic item.

The 3310 model has been available to purchase, but only through Amazon, and not through the company itself. The range of features the device sports according to Amazon listings include a clock, calculator, the ability to store up to ten reminders, and four games (Snake II, Paris II, Space Impact, and Bantumi).

Nokia fell behind as a mobile phone brand when the smartphone trend kicked in, which the company failed to catch on to. The brand was eventually sold to Microsoft. However, Nokia has since targeted success by making new versions of old Nokia phones, such as the Nokia 215, which costs $29 and lasts for 29 days.

Phones under the Nokia brand are now sold by HMD Global, a Finnish company that purchased the rights to the Nokia name. HMD Global has said it plans to unveil other new Nokia phones at MWC, such as the Nokia 3, 5 and 6. However, these new Nokia phones will be smartphones unlike the re-launch of the original 3310.

Published in Devices

Samsung have announced that they will not be unveiling the highly anticipated launch of their Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona next month.

MWC is the flagship event which traditionally sees all the major smartphone brands from all around the world show off their latest products. However, it has now been officially disclosed that Samsung will not be one of the leading mobile smartphone brands showcasing its new devices.

The new Galaxy S8 is the South Korean’s company’s new phone that will succeed the disastrous Galaxy Note 7, which had to be recalled shortly after going on sale due to issues with faulty batteries – which were established as the cause of problems following an investigation by Samsung into the incidents.  

The phone was a severe safety hazard and was catching fire due to the faulty batteries , and in one instance the Galaxy Note 7 actually self-combusted.

Because of the disastrous impact of the Galaxy Note 7 on Samsung’s financial performance last year, there is naturally a lot of pressure on Samsung to deliver a successful product from its stakeholders after their experience last year with the launch of its new S8.

Samsung declined as to why they were not launching the company’s flagship mobile at MWC – and its decision has raised eyebrows because it launched its new devices at the MWC in Barcelona for the last three years.

It has not been established when the S8 will eventually make its debut. However, it’s likely that new battery testing and quality assurance processes, introduced after Samsung discovered the cause behind the demise of the Note 7, might be pushing back its launch test.

The handset is rumored to have a screen that’s curved at the sides and nearly bezel less; it might also feature iris scanner, a pressure-sensitive display and hopefully, a headphone jack.

Published in Devices

US-based QLogic is a global leader and technology innovator specializing in high performance server and storage networking connectivity products. Leading OEMs and channel partners worldwide rely on QLogic for their server and storage networking solutions. At this year’s Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, QLogic introduced new ethernet connectivity products for its telco, enterprise, managed service provider, cloud and storage customers. In the following interview, Greg Scherer, VP & CTO, QLogic, at Mobile World Congress 2016, shares his insights about the company; its new FastLinQ 45000 Series, strengths, challenges and future prospects.

What brings you all the way to Barcelona to showcase at Mobile World Congress?

We used this venue to launch the release of our new ethernet controllers, the FastLinQ 45000 Series. It’s really quite a broad release for us, supporting 10, 25, 40, 50 and even 100 gigabit ethernet capabilities. The reason we chose Mobile World Congress specifically to do the launch is because QLogic historically has been known for its strength in the storage and networking marketplace. What we’re stretching into is really the telecommunications and NFV space (network function virtualization), and since Mobile World Congress is all about telecommunications, we thought this would be a great venue for the announcement.

Tell us about your new QLogic FastLinQ 45000 Series. Why is it such an important introduction, and how does it benefit your customers?

We think these new solutions will benefit our customers on multiple fronts: one is higher bandwidth and lower latency. This is our first 25 gigabit ethernet product, and 25 gigabit ethernet is a pretty new technology to the market; scalable 25 gigabit-per-lane from 4 links of 25 gigabits, all the way up to a single link at 100 gigabits. Bandwidth is obviously very important to our customer base.

In addition to bandwidth and latency improvements, our product is delivering advanced functionality for the new NFV market. We have lots of specific features that are built-in to help us offload features for the NFV marketplace, such as open VSwitch offload, enabling increased efficiency and performance. We think NFV is a wonderful foundation technology that will grow to be as pervasive and transformational as server virtualization has been for the traditional enterprise data center, but it’s really still at the early stages of deployment.

Our products are based on a uniquely programmable architecture which enables our solutions to be very extensible and we plan on adding additional offload features to over time. In the past we have added multiple features post-launch, with firmware and software updates, enabling existing customers to leverage these features in their already deployed QLogic infrastructure and we still see the same thing with these products going forward.

We think NFV is going to be a very strong growth market, but we think it’s going to take several years to fully develop, and we think that predicting all of the features that will eventually be required today is just not possible. So having an extensible architecture that we can add to as these needs as are identified, we think this provides the real value of the product line.

A massive event such as Mobile World Congress is all about showcasing the best innovative technology. What does “innovation” mean to QLogic?

Innovation at a point in time is a useful thing, but innovation means continual improvement. Looking at our architecture, the innovation that we’ve built into the architecture of our products is the ability to seamlessly expand the features and functionality of our shipping products with the changing needs of the market. As the datacenter grows, our customers can evolve with it.

One of the things we support is universal RDMA. There are several companies that either support RoCE or iWARP wire protocols for low latency and overhead, but not both. These companies are forcing customers to make a decision today as to which technology they’re going to implement years from now. With our solution, customers have the flexibility to choose and even change their low latency strategy because we support RoCE v2 and iWARP from a transport standpoint, and the customers can use them concurrently, enabling use in a hybrid environment during migration from one technology to another or in a mixed-use multi-tenant environment. This is just an example of what our architecture is capable of and what innovation means to us – adding value to our products with the ability to provide continuous improvements for our customers.

Can you share more about the following?

Improved server utilization:
We talk a lot about offloads, and today, if you think of the multi-tenant environments, and even the telco-SP environments, they’re all about efficiency. Efficiency can be measured even down to a resource like CPU; you can either bill for CPU cycles or use them as overhead and you pay for them. So it really is a direct trade-off. Any time that we can give back CPU cycles, because we’re offloading the CPU from having to do things like packetize data before it’s sent out, or processed interrupts, they translate into direct cost and efficiency savings. For example, in many virtualized server environments, we can give back as much as 25 percent of the overall CPU, so those CPU cycles can then be used for billing tenants. We expect similar savings to hold true for new NFV environments.

Increased scalability for virtual servers and networks:
Virtual networks are the whole idea of taking one base-level physical network, and then creating a virtual overlay network on top of it. We talk about it sometimes in terms of ‘tunnelling’ like an interoffice note that you put in an envelope and then send to the other side; and the person sitting at the desk has no idea if it came from the floor up or the building over – it doesn’t matter.

It’s the same thing with the virtual network: our network adapters do that virtual encapsulation on behalf of the host and can offload the processing from the CPU. So from a scalability standpoint, we can scale to tens of thousands of virtual networks and handle that load independently offloading that work from the host, allowing the workloads to scale without being limited by the amount of CPU or memory that is available.

Reflecting on 2015, what were some of the major challenges that QLogic faced? Where would you like to see QLogic in a year from now?

Certainly one of the major challenges has been the 25 gigabit ecosystem and creating it. We’ve had a 10 gigabit ecosystem that has been developing nicely the last several years, to the point where we’re exiting 2015 and we’ve seen the enterprise datacenter go from five years ago about seven or eight percent penetration of 10 gigabit adapters to nearly 40 percent penetration by the end of 2015. One of the big challenges moving forward is to migrate that 10 gigabit momentum into 25 gigabit, since long term it is an even more cost effective and efficient connectivity solutions.

I think the ecosystem is there. There’s a number of switch partners that are deploying switch silicon that will be used by the likes of Cisco and Juniper for example – all of the major switch players, white-box switches from Quanta that will be 25 gigabit ready and capable. As a CTO I get to put on my ‘future hat’ and live in the future, and now it’s time for the future to meet the present. We want to make sure our customers can as seamlessly as possible migrate their use-cases from 10 to 25 gigabit and reap all of the cost saving and scalability benefits that these solutions have to offer.

Published in Interviews
Sunday, 17 April 2016 06:35

Huawei @ Mobile World Congress 2016

Huawei has redefined quality ICT services and products, catering to a loyal international customer base, particularly prevalent in the Middle East. Never missing a chance to impress, the leading Chinese ICT solutions provider was one of the most prominent names at Mobile World Congress 2016 held in Barcelona, Spain, in late February. Huawei consistently announced a range of exciting developments throughout the Congress, ranging from multiple MoU signings, 5G predictions, insights about smart cities, to the official launch of the hotly-anticipated MateBook device.

The road to 5G

Ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), Huawei unveiled its five ‘Big Initiatives’ for the telecom industry to accelerate its digital transformation. The Big Initiatives and the resulting solutions represented the company’s long-term commitment to building a better connected world through extensive collaboration across the industry.

The initiatives represent new opportunities for telecom operators in the Middle East and worldwide, foreseeing a potential $100 billion video industry market, a $1 trillion enterprise cloud market and the number of IoT connections expected to grow 10-fold.

Huawei also announced a new wave of solutions for 4.5G mobile broadband, internet of things (IoT), 2K/4K video and safe cities - endorsing open platforms to enable collaboration so that shared success can be achieved in the telecom industry.

MWC officially commenced on February 22, but on the eve of the Congress, an opening ceremony for strategic cooperation on 4.5G was held between Huawei and the world’s leading telecom operators. The ceremony took place at the 4.5G Industry Summit, a part of the Digital Transformation Summit for MWC. This strategic cooperation unfolded a new chapter for massive 4.5G commercial use in 2016.

The summit provided an open platform for all participants to share their wealth of experience and aspirations for 4.5G – a technology that Huawei has been actively involved with. These in-depth discussions included hopes, visions, strategies, pre-commercialized deployment experiences and the latest 4.5G progress.

Ryan Ding, Huawei executive director, president of products and solutions, proposed the three core concepts of 4.5G: Gbps, Experience 4.0 and Connection+. He also elaborated how 4.5G increases data rates for better user experience and wider service rollout and facilitates operators in the creation of new entrepreneurial business opportunities and gaining a winning competitive edge.

“4.5G takes potential new terminals, services and experience in the next five years into consideration and aims to support larger bandwidths, reduced latencies and massive connections,” said Ding at the ceremony. “This has laid a solid foundation for 5G commercialization. 4.5G is the only way to 5G along the LTE evolution path. 4G and 5G are expected to coexist for a long period of time. Telecom operators should never cease their innovative efforts during the evolution to 5G if they want to occupy a prominent position in the market.”

According to Ding, 4.5G will deliver mobile broadband data rates of up to 1,000 Mbit/s, enabling HD voice, 2K/4K HD video and virtual reality experiences to be available anywhere. 4.5G will also make possible the IoT, which will make our lives smarter and help telecom operators expand into industry markets.

GigaRadio, one of Huawei’s key products launched at this year’s MWC, is a crucial technology for 4.5G. GigaRadio will be deployed commercially on a large scale in 2016, and will help to accelerate the global adoption of 4.5G.

Speaking about 5G, Huawei deputy chairman and rotating CEO, Guo Ping, gave a keynote speech at MWC about the technology expected to be introduced in 2020. In his keynote speech “What should we do before 5G?”, Guo commented that it will be a long time before 5G is deployed on a large scale and industry players must ensure they do not miss out on opportunities.

He also said that three things should be done before 5G arrives: increase connectivity, enable verticals and redefine network capabilities. These initiatives will help address the uncertainties brought about by new technologies and new business models.

According to Guo, by 2025, there will be 100 billion connections globally, and the connections among the 7 billion people on earth will only account for 10 percent of the total. The majority of connections will be between people and things, and between things and things.

Guo highlighted a case from the manufacturing sector, pointing out that 99 percent of equipment with sensors has yet to be connected to the internet. Therefore, the first thing to do before 5G arrives is to increase connectivity, the second thing is to enable verticals, and the third thing Guo recommended before 5G arrives is to redefine network capabilities.

Highlights & announcements

On Sunday, February 21, Huawei made an announcement that had been curiously anticipated by techies around the globe. Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, announced its first tablet-laptop hybrid product to enter the market: the MateBook. This daring venture by Huawei has opened the door to a vast competitive consumer-electronics sector, previously untouched by the company.

The device comes with a high resolution 12-inch display, plus a keyboard and stylus pen accessory. It will sell for about USD $700, plus an additional $129 for the keyboard. Whatever you think of the price, the device is still roughly 13 percent less than Microsoft’s entry-level Surface Book, which is a similar hybrid device. The MateBook shows Huawei’s desire to penetrate the market of everyday people by offering competitive prices for premium innovative devices.

Huawei as a brand is growing in regions such as Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company also sells products such as smartwatches powered by Google’s Android Wear software. It’s unclear how Huawei will compete in the market of laptop-hybrid devices, since China’s Lenovo Group has already expanded into this area with its Yoga tablet-laptop convertibles.

But the 640 gram MateBook is sleek, light, stylish and full of potential. It can be unlocked via a fingerprint scanner and comes with a 6th generation Intel Core processor. It’s an impressive device with a battery that can last for up to ten hours at regular usage. Only time will tell if Huawei’s new venture into the realm of laptop-tablet hybrids pays off.

Speaking on the company’s strategy, Joy Tan, from Huawei’s public affairs department, spoke about the company’s core business structure which consists of three main areas: carrier business, enterprise business and the device business.

“For our carrier business, Huawei has been a leader for quite some time,” Tan told Active Telecoms. “In this segment, we want to continue to be the strategic partner for operators. A lot of operators, especially European operators, are facing a lot of challenges in this digital transformation era. How can we help these operators reach the next level, generate new revenue and lower their operating costs? Huawei has a unique advantage to help them reach their full potential.”

Tan further explained how enterprise business is a new realm for Huawei, but at the same is growing very fast. She also indicated that Huawei’s consumer business has been growing rapidly in 2015, growing over 70 percent. According to Tan, Huawei shipped over 100 million smartphones in 2015.

“Four years ago, our brand was about 10 percent globally, and now we’re over 70 percent global awareness,” Tan expressed fervently. “We’ve come a long way to build our brand, build our distribution channels and expand Research & Development (R&D). Every year we invest at least 10 percent of revenue in R&D, and some of that investment goes into products and solutions, and also long-term research; for example, material like grapheme, mathematic research, algorithms and heat dissipation.

“This long-term research will not necessarily benefit us immediately, but will benefit us in the long-term giving us a competitive advantage,” Tan added. “We’ve been very committed to R&D since the beginning of Huawei.”

The company is also well-protected, according to Tan, who said that over the last 20 years, Huawei has filed over 40,000 patents. In terms of patent filing and approval, the company is at the top, whether in China, the US or the rest of the world. From 2004-2014, Huawei went up 200 places on the EU Industry Investment scoreboard which is a major achievement.

“Make things better together”

Through its strong product range and international recognition, Huawei has positioned itself as a leading technology label, able to command a high level of interest at Mobile World Congress by means of multiple announcements.

For example, on Monday, February 22, Ooredoo and Huawei announced a MoU to open a next generation Innovations Lab in Qatar. The agreement was signed by Waleed Al Sayed, chief executive officer, Ooredoo Qatar, and Eric Xu, rotating CEO of Huawei. The MoU was part of a series of major agreements and initiatives supported by Ooredoo to bring cutting-edge technology to Qatar, and to boost research and innovation within the country.

Speaking about the MoU signing, Eric Xu said: “Advances in network technology are delivering faster speeds and a better online experience, but more than that, they are helping to transform our digital lifestyles and supporting the growth of the internet of things. We are proud that Huawei is making a significant contribution in Qatar through our joint work with Ooredoo.”

The MoU outlines the companies’ joint intent to open an advanced facility that will contribute to Qatar’s knowledge-based economy and help train and develop the next generation of technology leaders. As part of the agreement, Huawei will provide full technical support for Ooredoo’s research in the Innovations Lab, including offering training courses and supporting knowledge transfer between the two companies.

On another note, Huawei signed a MoU with Zain Group; an understanding that will “make things better together” according to Hisham Mustafa Allam, group chief technical officer at Zain Kuwait. According to Hisham, Zain Kuwait was one of the first to launch 4.5G on a commercial network, which was achieved with a lot of commitment from both Zain and Huawei, a partnership he defines as “a governance of our joint ambition.”

“There is no commercial obligation to one another, but the MoU means we will utilize our latest technology wherever available,” Hisham told Active Telecoms. “Since we don’t have very good fixed network capabilities in Kuwait, because there is no infrastructure when it comes to fixed networks, mobile is a substitute for that. We need to make sure that we have the right capacity, and the right services, because our network is growing like crazy. It’s not a deal with Huawei, but more an understanding that we will make things better together.”

Additionally, on Tuesday, February 23, together with its industry partners, Huawei unveiled its Safe City Solution Experience Center at MWC. Under the theme “Leading New ICT, Making Cities Safer”, the experience center showcased leading new information and communications technologies, including the internet of things, mobile broadband, video and big data, which are reshaping traditional urban safety management.

The center also included safe city solutions that enable cities to build multidimensional and intelligent security systems featuring awareness, visualization and collaboration, helping governments improve crisis prevention and emergency handling capabilities while reducing crime rates.

“As you may be aware, ‘smart cities’ is a big concept; a theme particularly of interest in the Middle East region in different countries who have different types of approaches,” Safder Nazir, regional vice president of Huawei Middle East told Active Telecoms. “I would say there is not one monolithic single way of approaching smart cities, as every country and city has its own priorities and needs, approaching the concept differently.”

Nazir spoke about a vast range of technologies and capabilities that Huawei has to offer within the smart city space, across three business lines: consumer, enterprise and carrier. For example, in some countries, the starting point is to expand the connectivity from the fixed network side and expand the mobile network, giving people the basic connectivity speeds that they need. Nazir used Saudi Arabia as an example, where 10 years ago, many of its people were still using a dial-up connection. That has significantly changed in recent years, thanks to Huawei.

“We define smart city implementation in three waves: the first wave focuses on infrastructure,” Nazir explained. “The second focuses on vertical solutions, such as our safe city solutions, something very significant for the Middle East region where safety is a prime concern. For example, in some countries it’s becoming a requirement in public areas to have CCTV cameras to ensure safety, and Huawei can offer a key set of technologies to enable that.”

The third wave is innovation and application,” Nazir added. “You can look at cities like Dubai, for example, focused on innovation and application. Even though the city is still involved with infrastructure and services, the theme of the smart city program is more about innovation and application, and bringing data together, which is the reason the Dubai Smart City committee was set up. Huawei is able to support all of these aspects.”

With a wide range of announcements, enticing developments and an impressive product launch, Huawei shone bright at the 2016 Mobile World Congress. The company continues to establish milestones and expand into the hotly anticipated world of IoT, thanks to its innovative leadership, international reach and quality product lineup.

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Ericsson recently released its special Mobile World Congress 2016 Mobility Report, revealing intriguing evidence suggesting that poor network performance increases smartphone a user’s heart rate and stress levels. Ericsson’s research further reports that smartphone users share more online than ever before, and that 68 million mobile subscriptions were added during the last quarter of 2015, 21 million of which were in India. Rafiah Ibrahim, president of Ericsson Middle East & Africa, offered her insights.

Ericsson never fails to inspire the telecom industry with its factually revealing Mobility Reports. Its latest report, dedicated to the recent Mobile World Congress, is no excuse. It reveals results from a neuroscience study conducted by Ericsson Consumer Lab that captured objective reactions to varied levels of network performance while using a smartphone. The study revealed that under time constraints, delays in web page load times and video streaming can be as stressful as watching a horror movie. Additionally, the study revealed that if there are no such delays, we unconsciously become more satisfied with our mobile service provider.

It’s a topic we can all relate to. Just think back to all the times you have felt frustrated when a web page took forever to load, or a video kept buffering, sending you into a frenzy of dissatisfaction. It’s a given that when consumers turn to their smartphones to source information quickly, they expect an instantaneous response. The neuroscience study by Ericsson measured user reactions to network performance and shows that delays in loading web pages and videos while completing tasks under time constraints is noticeably taxing, causing heart rate and stress levels to increase.

The study measured brain activity, eye movements and pulse; while subjects completed various tasks by browsing the web and watching video clips. Changes in the perception of mobile network operators and content providers before and after network usages experiences were also measured. The participants were then exposed to a high degree of delays, a medium degree of delays or no delays, all while they completed tasks. This allowed a detailed analysis of how the duration and extent of delays affected emotional engagement and stress.

The purpose of the study was simple: the results help to uncover how variations in network performance can impact consumer experience and ultimately affect brand equity. For instance, if one network shows signs of being slower than its competitor, then its customers will likely jump ship since the study proves that slow networks cause stress and anguish; thus, causing users to blame the network provider.

This was one of the most interesting finds from the study, providing network providers a rare glimpse into the loyalty habits of consumers. The study found that participants who experienced no performance delays showed a net increase in brand engagement, measured using a motivation index: a calculation of the relative activation of the left versus right and closely linked to approach-avoidance behaviors. EEG electrode headsets were used to record brain activity. The results suggested that the participants became happier with their mobile service provider when they experienced low delays compared with groups subjected to medium and high delays, who displayed neutral and even negative brand engagement.

A fascinating result of the study was that medium delays resulted in a double negative effect on the service provider, as they not only decreased brand engagement with consumers, but also caused an increase in engagement with competitor brands. Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, users who faced high delays responded negatively to all mobile service provider brands. All in all, the findings suggest that major delays can cause the whole industry to suffer a loss of brand equity.

Similar to this, effects were observed in the study when observing changes in NPS, a quantification of the likelihood that a customer would recommend a company’s product or service. Customers are scored on a scale of 0-10 and then divided into three categories: 9-10 being promoters of the brand (happy), 7-8 being passive (satisfied but unenthusiastic) and 0-6 being detractors (unhappy). The info was calculated using data gathered from a survey administered to participants both before and after they experienced delays. On a scale of 0-10, NPS fell by 4 and 2.5 points for those who faced medium and high delays, respectively.

Infinite broadband, smartphone & social media expansion

Poor network performance and its effect on brand equity wasn’t the only issue discussed in Ericsson’s MWC Mobility Report. In fact, Ericsson also provided details of how mobile data traffic significantly increased in Q4 2015.

Rafiah Ibrahim, president of Ericsson Region Middle East and Africa, said: “In November 2015, we significantly increased our mobile data traffic forecast. This was largely based on recent network measurements indicating a stronger than anticipated growth of average data traffic consumption per user.”

Ericsson predicts data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45 percent through 2021 – a 10-fold increase in the coming six years. Contributing to this growth is the rising share of smartphone subscriptions – particularly for LTE smartphones – as well as increased data consumption per LTE subscriber. According to the report, in many markets, the rate of growth has not declined over time as fast as presumed. A similar data consumption pattern is also expected to apply to new LTE subscribers. The report suggests that this increasing data consumption per subscription is mainly driven by video traffic.

Looking back at 2015, the report indicates that net-added mobile traffic was 20 Exabyte (EB), half of which consisted of video traffic. The additional video traffic in 2015 is comparable to approximately three full-length movies per smartphone subscription.

Factors according to the report that are driving mobile video traffic include: evolving smart devices with larger screens and higher resolution (better picture quality), increased video content as part of applications such as news and social media, YouTube and Netflix driving growth of video streaming, increased streaming of on-demand services, changing user behaviors with TV and video being consumed everywhere, continued 3G and 4G deployments, and of course, major technological advancements such as video compression techniques.

The Mobility Report also highlights the way consumers are increasingly participating in and sharing information on multiple social media platforms. The report indicates that with an expected net addition of 3 billion smartphone subscriptions by the end of 2021, many more consumers will have easy access to social networks via apps and web browsers.

“Social networking is second only to video in driving traffic growth,” says Rafiah Ibrahim. “We share more online now than we have ever before. With the increased penetration of smartphones, it is very convenient to access social media platforms. In Q4 2015, smartphones accounted for around 75 percent of all mobile phones sold worldwide and we predict an additional 3 billion smartphone subscriptions by the end of 2021,” added Ibrahim.

Ericsson Consumer Lab research shows that today more people communicate using text as opposed to voice calls, which not too long ago, was the primary communication tool. It shows the velocity that trends are changing in our modern world of technological advancement. People are also used to instantly sharing photos and videos via social media networks. For example, the reports says over 70 percent of smartphone owners say they share personal photos regularly and have an audience which sees what’s been shared. Forty-six percent are reportedly active on more than one social media network.

Concluding this topic, the report suggests that accumulated social networking over the next six years is forecast to be around 180 EB, which is comparable to every person on earth spending around 35 minutes on social media every day, or a total of more than 200 billion photos viewed every day. Staggering growth! Social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram will likely be feeling optimistic about the future thanks to Ericsson’s research, especially the fact that total social networking traffic over the next six years will be around 12 times that of the last six years.

The final topics discussed in Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report include information about Q4 2015 mobile subscriptions and mobile traffic: two areas that have shown significant growth around the world. In fact, the total number of mobile subscriptions at the end of 2015 was around 7.3 billion, an increase of 68 million subscriptions during Q4 2015.

According to Ericsson’s report, global mobile subscriptions are growing around 3 percent year on year. The largest growth has been attributed to India in terms of net additions during Q4 2015 (+21 million), followed by China (+6 million), the United States (+5 million) and Nigeria (+3 million).

Additionally, smartphones accounted for around 75 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q4 according to the report, compared to around 70 percent during Q4 2014. The growth of smartphones is unprecedented, with around 45 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions associated with smartphones, compared with around 40 percent in 2014. All in all, the report shows that the number of mobile broadband subscriptions is growing steadily around the globe by around 25 percent year on year, increasing by about 200 million in Q4 2015 alone.

Lastly, LTE subscriptions are highlighted in the report, growing steadily with the total figure reaching around 1 billion subscriptions, with approximately 160 million additions in Q4 2015. WCDMA/HSPA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access/High Speed Downlink Packet Access) reportedly added around 30 million during Q4. Furthermore, the majority of 3G/4G subscriptions have access to GSM/EDGE (enhanced data rates for GSM Evolution) as a fallback, and GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions declined by 90 million.

“Ninety percent of the world’s population is expected to be covered by advanced mobile broadband networks by 2021,” Rafiah Ibrahim commented. “At the same time, more than 50 percent of the world’s population today still lacks internet access, especially in emerging markets across our region. This provides a great opportunity for the operators in the region.  At the same time, in the advanced markets, the report clearly shows the rapid uptake of data consumption such as video streaming. This is also another area of opportunity to provide better connectivity and differentiated customer experience,” explained Ibrahim.

The report concludes with a statement about mobile data traffic, which is reportedly growing rapidly. Graphics in the report suggest 65 percent growth in data traffic between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. The growth in data traffic is being driven by both increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content.

In a final statement, the Ericsson report suggests that data traffic grew around 12 percent quarter on quarter and 65 percent year on year. It’s also noted that there are large differences in traffic levels between markets, regions and operators.

Never failing to follow-up trending movements in the telecommunications realm, Ericsson’s Mobile World Congress 2016 Mobility Report highlights where the industry currently stands, as a result of Q4 2015 findings. The report proves how customers are indeed affected by downloading delays, and will likely blame their network provider for the delays, which causes stress and anguish; thus, reducing brand equity. The report also shines a light on how social media and video is the driving force behind increasing data traffic, which has risen substantially from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015.

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