The 2023 MWC (formerly Mobile World Congress) event wrapped up last week in Barcelona, Spain. With new product announcements, exciting demos, and even a big company rebrand, the event was fun to follow. Since companies big and small save many of their most important announcements for these trade shows, events like MWC tend to provide a good look at what’s trending in the tech space and where it’s headed in the coming years.
Besides snazzy device concepts like rolling screens on smartphones and laptops, overall trends at MWC this year included a lot of talk about the metaverse and alternate realities. For instance, there was significant buzz about the SK Telecom’s air taxi VR (virtual reality) demo. Another popular AR attraction was actually a product—the XRAI Glass AR (augmented reality) glasses, which leverage technologies like ChatGPT to convert audio into visuals, essentially offering wearers the ability to see life with subtitles completely in realtime. Imagine the possibilities for those with disabilities.
5G was another trend of note at MWC 2023. Intel made some new product announcements at the event, including its 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel vRAN (virtualized radio access network) Boost. Intel says the new processors will double the capacity of the previous generation within the same power envelope, plus it will save up to 20% in power with integrated acceleration, thereby eliminating the need for external accelerator cards and “meeting critical performance, scaling, and energy-efficiency requirements”.
The company also announced the Intel Infrastructure Power Manager for 5G core reference software, alongside SK Telecom. The solution provides a 30% average run-time CPU power savings. Intel says in tests, the new Power Manager for 5G software significantly reduced time to market by simplifying access to key capabilities such as power telemetry, granular power control states, and low-latency frequency change.
Intel and Cisco also announced their plan to collaborate on a private 5G network. The companies say they will “create reference architectures across various IoT (Internet of Things) industries, including manufacturing, supply chain, and smart venues, to scale and expand Cisco’s Private 5G solution blueprint”. Cisco announced other partnerships, too, including one with Mercedes-Benz to support “hybrid work” innovations in the automotive space. Thanks to Cisco, for instance, the automaker will be able to offer Webex Meetings and Webex AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities to unlock productivity during commutes in a safe and secure way.
Another company making headlines surrounding MWC was Nokia, which recently unveiled a brand refresh. At MWC, Nokia shared some partner announcements, such as the one with Indosat to support Indonesia’s Digital Transformation Agenda with a private wireless agreement. Nokia also introduced Beacon 10, a Wi-Fi 6E gateway that offers high-capacity mesh networking. In doing so, the company is paving the way for a new generation of in-home and in-office broadband devices. Nokia says Beacon 10 offers faster speeds, supports third-party applications, and has a USP agent so that it’s compatible with multiple controllers. Ultimately, the new device will make it much easier for operators to operate—and isn’t that what innovative technology is all about? Working smarter not harder?
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