Mobile World Congress 2024 to Focus on 5G, AI, and IoT

Next week's global mobility event also spotlights four connected industries: manufacturing, transportation, FinTech, and sports and entertainment.

6 Min Read
Mobile World Congress 2024 to Focus on 5G, AI, and IoT
(Credit: Timon Schneider / Alamy Stock Photo)

With a “Future First” event theme, MWC 24 organizers crafted an event based on six subthemes that go far beyond technology: 5G and Beyond, Connecting Everything, Humanizing AI, Manufacturing DX, Game Changers, and our Digital DNA.

Drilling down, the next week’s MWC also settled on four focus areas they call Connected Industries, which provide education and discussion on how mobility is crucial in enabling advancements in vertical industries. They are manufacturing, smart mobility, FinTech and mobile commerce, and sports and entertainment.

Speakers include leaders from Accenture, Dell Technologies, and Microsoft, as well as Carmen Artigas, Co-chair of the UN's AI Advisory Board, and Sir Konstantin Sergeevich Novoselo, Professor at the National University of Singapore and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers and participate in debates on promising technology-related topics.

“MWC is a unifying force that emphasizes how mobile technology transcends political, geographical, and cultural boundaries, and we cannot wait to kick off this gathering of the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial minds this month,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA,” in prepared comments.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers and participate in debates on promising technology-related topics.

The six conference themes

The conference focuses on several broad categories. They include:

5G and Beyond: 5G has been a catalyst for building intelligence at the network, and with the next phase of 5G Advanced underlining the need for end-to-end AI integration, future mobile generations will learn fast, self-orchestrate and open new possibilities of how we can interact with our devices. "But there's a challenge in that as the rollouts of mobile generations get shorter, the ROI takes longer, and as each generation presents new features and a wealth of new opportunities." A question to be addressed is whether patience is needed at a time of industry acceleration.

Connecting Everything: By 2030, there will be 6.3 billion unique mobile subscribers globally, with five billion global 5G connections, according to the GSMA. With the number of connected IoT devices set to reach over fifteen billion in two years, connecting everything requires network solutions that are open, seamless, sustainable, and secure. The answer? "Only by collectively building more adaptable, automated, and cost-efficient networks can we fast track the development of new solutions for business and consumers."

Humanizing AI: This track looks at the impact of generative AI through a practical lens. The disruptive technology has the potential to optimize processes and tools that can accelerate transformation in the network or cloud, to bringing new levels of natural interaction between people and computers that can deliver personalized experiences to customers.

Manufacturing DX: Manufacturers are putting considerable time and money behind their digital strategies. While 5G provides benefits to economic sectors of a global economy, manufacturing, with smart factory and warehouse applications, "may benefit most with its natural setting for private wireless networks and data-led solutions. The track seeks to answer the question: "With institutions such as the European Commission and companies increasingly investing in AI and robotics, can the true value of Industry 4.0 finally be captured?

Game Changers: Sessions of this theme seek to address the direction of technology in 2024. “Big data has shifted to small data as AI enables personalized experiences for every consumer, with record investment in quantum computing soon to be capable of solving problems up to 100 million times faster than traditional computers.” 

Our Digital DNA: Across the telecom ecosystem, sustainability, diversity, and attracting new talent have extended beyond corporate social responsibility to become a core strategic priority. The GSMA asserts that the business of attracting and retaining talent is expected to grow twice as fast in the next ten years. Yet, the number of women in tech leadership roles has fallen significantly in the past year., the group claims. "Our digital future is emerging, and it's vital to implement change by making societal change part of our DNA."

MWC explores the role of mobility on connected industries

MWC also provides a focus on four so-called Connected Industries. They include:

Manufacturing: The M in manufacturing may also stand for mobile technologies. "Supply chain automation, minimized costs, green efficiencies and reduction of human injury – there's no question that technology is reimagining manufacturing." In 2020, show organizers say digital transformation in the manufacturing industry was valued at $263.9 billion. This figure is anticipated to reach $767.8 billion by 2026. Check out manufacturers' options for digital transformation in Discover the Future of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing.

Smart mobility: Connected vehicle technologies create huge opportunities across transportation and related industries, including automotive, aviation, logistics, shared-mobility, maritime, and mobile connectivity ecosystems, according to show organizers. Attendees are invited to discover the future of smart mobility at MWC by attending the event’s focus area sessions.

FinTech and mobile commerce: 5G and private networks continue to have a significant impact on fintech trends and the very future of fintech firms. The global fintech market is forecast to reach $190 billion by 2026, according to the conference organizers. Explore the latest challenges, opportunities, and trends in fintech at the conference’s Fintech and Mobile Commerce Summit.

Sports and entertainment: Innovative mobile technologies are transforming sports and entertainment at live events and in the home. The fuel that makes the analytics engines run is fan data. Discover the latest mobile trends in the Sports and Entertainment Summit. If it is early adopters of the advanced mobile technologies you seek, look no further than venues where the world's professional sports are played and concerts are held.

See you there

MWC is typically one of the largest and most influential conferences of the year for all things related to mobile. This year's conference focuses on the traditional areas of past conferences (e.g., 5G and IoT connectivity) but expands coverage into the world of AI and how that will impact mobile providers, services, and users.

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About the Author(s)

Bob Wallace, Featured Writer

A veteran business and technology journalist, Bob Wallace has covered networking, telecom, and video strategies for global media outlets such as International Data Group and United Business Media. He has specialized in identifying and analyzing trends in enterprise and service provider use of enabling technologies. Most recently, Bob has focused on developments at the intersection of technology and sports. A native of Massachusetts, he lives in Ashland and can be reached at[email protected]or @fastforwardbob

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