20.07.2015

Major trends of GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai

Image | GSMA

Although there are more than twelve thousand kilometers between Barcelona and Shanghai both cities are united in a common goal: thanks to Mobile World Congress, for a few days both have become capitals of the mobile world.

The MWC event in Europe which took place in early March has been followed this week by an Asian version in China’s largest city, in an event that featured also a participation of Mobile World Capital Barcelona with a stand to promote the capitality as well as to help in the promotion of Spanish companies. For three days the conference was a meeting point for professionals from different sectors of the mobile universe, in an event that has set a new record with the participation of 40.000 unique visitors from 100 countries.

Shanghai’s Mobile World Congress provides a major stage for big companies to promote their new products and set market trends for the coming months.

One trend that continues to grow in popularity is wearables, as has been confirmed by this MWC. Aside from the famous Apple Watch, other companies presented their competitive smartwatches. The Indian company Intex has released their smartwatch at the MWC  Shanghai. It’s called the Intex iRist and is priced economically at 175 euros, aiming at the lower end of the market. It runs on Android Kit Kat, and could revolutionize the Asian market as buyers can enjoy a smartwatch with a screen of just over an inch and a half at a budget price.

Beyond presenting new, innovative mobile devices for the wrist, smartphones remain a key component of the sector. Thus, in the MWC Shanghai we also see smartphones taking on a lead role.

The Chinese company ZTE is one of the Asian technology startups that has used the MWC to showcase their latest product. The Blade D6 is a thin smartphone with a 5-inch screen that uses Android Lollipop and is set to launch in Australia, Russia and Japan – where the company hopes to conquer the market for mid-range priced devices. 

zte_mwc

Image | ZTE

However, the MWC was not just about presentations of the latest devices. It has also marked the way for other developing technologies that we will start hearing about and using in no time. Especially relevant is 5G, whose development will be essential in the coming years. Huawei will be investing over 500 million euros in this technology. The increased speed and capacity will allow the inevitable transformation of the mobile into a video device, as is indicated by LG.

The project has also found its place in a new area, called Startup Alley, a novelty in the MWCS which has enjoyed great success due to the amazing increase of the entrepreneurial movement, also in Asia.

startups_mwc_shanghai

Image | Some of the companies in the Startup Alley

In addition to the presentation of new devices, the MWC Shanghai has supported other technological advances and, like the Barcelona event, was a great opportunity for finding synergies within the sector. Thus, the mHealth program of the Mobile World Capital Foundation was represented at the conference with the aim of opening new business opportunities for European companies and organizations dedicated to mobile health who want to enter the emerging Asian market.

The importance of the event (and of the Asian industry in the sector) is such that the GSMA, an organization representing mobile operators worldwide, chose the conference as the site to sign an agreement with the Chinese Academy of Information Technology and Communications that will enable them to work together to accelerate the development of digital services in the country.

In sum, after three intense days the Asian MWC closed its doors and confirmed the excellent health of the mobile sector and Asian market. Next stop: Barcelona.