Technology trends

5 key tech trends of MWC 2022

Last week it felt like the world was almost back to normal as companies from across the tech spectrum converged on Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2022. There were plenty of announcements about the latest advances in 5G , networking technology, devices and what the future holds. for the virtual world. The accelerated pace of business operations that we have become accustomed to shows no signs of slowing down. Here’s a look at some of the announcements and trends that caught my eye.

5G extension from chips to networks

It’s no surprise that 5G is everywhere at MWC. With networking technology poised to revolutionize the way we live, work and play, organizations are taking notice and making progress on everything from chips and devices to network expansion and partnerships. These moves indicate that 5G is poised to go mainstream this year.

Qualcomm led the way with a number of announcements about the 5G ecosystem and upgrades, including its Snapdragon X70 chipset. The new chip now supports a 5G AI processor and an integrated 5G modem-RF system for unmatched network speed and efficiency. The SnapdragonX70 Mobile-RF system will also support 5G 4-carrier and sub-6 aggregation in addition to dual-SIM and DSDA capabilities. These upgrades will usher in a better customer experience across the entire mobile spectrum, which we can all expect to enjoy.

AT&T and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership to launch AT&T Private 5G Edge, an integrated platform for private networks and edge computing for small and midsize customers. This network will help these companies connect their edge networks quickly and easily.

Cisco too made an important private announcement about 5G and the company has further pushed its move into software and services with a relaunch of Private 5G as a Service which I hope will be well received by its customers looking to benefit from the deployment of Private 5G.

On the device spectrum, there have been a number of announcements and product launches for consumers. From 5G-enabled routers that will deliver fast internet speeds at home to mobile and wearable devices, 5G hardware is finally taking shape.

Impressive laptops take center stage

While 5G played a huge role at MWC, several tech companies announced new tech products that will soon be available to consumers. Phones have dominated MWC announcements in recent years, but this year it was all about laptops, which makes sense as tech companies seek to bring increased portability and productivity to consumers working in environments hybrids.

Samsung has announced its new Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro which will feature improved webcams, HD resolution and deeper integration with other Samsung products making it easier to switch between devices.

Lenovo announced its new ThinkPad X13, developed in collaboration with Qualcomm and Microsoft. This sleek laptop will be powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 compute platform. But the best part? It features multi-day battery life and 5G connectivity for a seamless, always-connected experience. In our hybrid working world, I think this type of laptop will be incredibly popular with employees who have to commute between the office and home.

The PC market has seen a renaissance during the Covid years, and I think the importance of the PC going forward will remain significant. New PC form factors will be shaped more than ever by the way we use our mobile devices. I believe consumers increasingly want to see PCs that work like our mobile devices, rather than the other way around, which has been the advent of the smart phone. Now I’m looking to device makers and chipmakers to solve the shift to mobile PCs and of course that will include long battery life, 5G connectivity and lightweight portable profiles that deliver large-scale mobility and productivity.

Metaverse? Not yet

Although we’ve been talking about the Metaverse for a while, most telecom operators at MWC didn’t have major plans for the new technology in the coming year. But there were some killer exhibits in a few potential virtual world tech booths that got me excited. At the Qualcomm booth, visitors were able to don Occulus headsets and dive into the virtual world with VR world. Avatars allow people to be together anywhere in the world, regardless of their physical location.

Accenture held a similar demo, giving away more than 60,000 headsets to employees around the world and connecting them to presentations and networking events on their Nth floor. While there’s a lot of potential here, the Metaverse is still a few years away from being a full-time reality, but I really think it’s going to be something we’ll continue to hear a lot about.

I think most agree that more robust networks with higher throughput will increase capacity for lighter immersive experiences and of course lower latency for processing data and transactions. However, there is still some migration from the conceptual to the real that should materialize over the next few years. 5G will strengthen the metaverse, and of course the MWC will emphasize this more and more year after year.

Impressive automotive debut

As 5G technologies continue to evolve, we’re going to see more connected cars and self-driving cars on the road in the years to come. Which explains why they were both hot topics at MWC this year. Qualcomm has unveiled the latest iteration of its Snapdragon digital chassis which now includes cloud as a service and improved WiFi capabilities. During the company’s press conference, CEO Cristiano Amon reiterated Qualcomm’s growing vision to continue transforming the automotive industry.

In addition to the technology inside the vehicles, a few new electric vehicles from automakers Renault and Fisker were on display. The Renault Mégane, an all-electric vehicle, showed how this Qualcomm technology will be used with impressive head-up displays, augmented reality overlays, audio systems, sign detection and more. The Fisker Ocean, an all-electric SUV, highlighted the sustainability aspect of the next generation of cars with a solar panel roof and sustainably manufactured interiors.

While MWC doesn’t have the same automotive gravity as CES, we are increasingly seeing MWC gain momentum as an auto show. The connected future will increasingly play out with the help of chipmakers like Intel Mobileye, Qualcomm, Marvell, and NVIDIA, as we see vehicle BOM reaching 20% ​​chip in the next 7-8 years. These are the same companies that make the technology that powers our mobile devices, and so MWC will certainly become more and more of a car show. After all, you can’t spell automobile without a mobile.

Underlying theme of sustainability

While tech announcements definitely took center stage for most of the event, there was an underlying theme of sustainability that couldn’t be missed. Several companies have made sustainability one of their key messages of the week, explaining how their technologies will enable a greener future. Other booths featured greenery and real plants that supported sustainability missions. And there were several presentations on how to create and develop the technologies we need in the world in a sustainable way.

A softer trend perhaps, but noticeable nonetheless. Sustainability finds its place as the commitments made by companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others over the past few years are measured. It will become more data-driven as consumers seek to see climate action come to life and tech companies continue to lead the way. I believe sustainability, ESG and social impact will continue to be a key part of conferences and how businesses operate for years to come.

Final Thoughts

MWC 2022 was significantly smaller than previous years, but the companies in attendance still put on a show. Exciting things are happening across the spectrum. 5G is driving connectivity and innovation in our devices and vehicles. Companies are more than ever at the service of consumers to meet the new needs of our hybrid world. The advances we saw last week will only continue to drive innovation forward. MWC 2022 was just the start of what’s to come this year and I’m really looking forward to what’s next.