In the last month I’ve had the pleasure of attending two of the world’s largest technology shows - Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and CeBIT in Hanover and here are my observations from both events.
The digital economy has arrived
The main theme of CeBIT this year surrounded the digital economy and digital business. With Japan as their guest country, there were many great examples of digitalised businesses on show from companies such as Hitachi. At both Mobile World Congress and CeBIT, Vodafone showed ‘Hitachi Rail Analytics’ combining IoT and Cloud - demonstrating how the next generation of connectivity plays a central role in enabling digital businesses and the digital economy as a whole.
IoT is everywhere
IoT played a big role at both MWC and CeBIT this year with a vast range of applications on show, from connected robots, to smart city management and intelligent dust bins - showing the importance of, and potential to digitalise all businesses. IoT was also the focus of many conferences and panel discussions, including the IoT summit at CeBIT which discussed the platforms and applications within the IoT space, as well as designing and securing the infrastructure.
Industry and Smart Cities lead the verticals for IoT
I also noticed an increased interest in IoT applications for the industrial sector, particularly at CeBIT. This really is a sector which is taking a leading role in digitalising their business processes and applications. Many businesses came to speak to us about the potential for them in IoT, taking inspiration from some of our customers and the use cases we showed. Many of these applications were connected by Vodafone’s Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) network, perfectly designed for the small, frequent amounts of data that need to be transmitted securely and cost effectively in these sectors.
Drones were everywhere
Drones have seen rapid growth both commercially and in enterprise markets in the last few years. The potential of drone technology was showcased in a large outdoor park at CeBIT overseen by Intel. At Vodafone IoT we’re actively seeing the opportunity for embedded IoT SIMs to be installed in all commercial drones, meeting the needs of manufacturers, insurance companies and regulatory agencies. New capabilities, such as centralised flight authorisation and faster transmission of high volumes of data to and from the drone could be enabled as a result– watch this space!
Get ready for 5G
At both events there was a lot of talk about the next generation of wireless technology, 5G. Whilst 5G itself was not necessarily at the forefront, it was inherent in almost every showcase, with many relying on communicating massive amounts of data through high powered connections that will become more readily available with 5G – including Vodafone’s own, live Vehicle to Everything (V2X) demonstration at both events, that accurately illustrated how 5G technology will quickly and effectively connect vehicles.
As a trusted provider of IoT connectivity, Vodafone has a lot of experience in developing secure networks for many varied applications, to enable digital businesses and the digital economy as whole. It was no surprise that this was such an important topic at both MWC and CeBIT.