Mobile World Live: MWC 2017: Top 5 themes

Published: 20 February 2017

Source: Mobile World Live

CCS Insight was mentioned in this article about Mobile World Congress 2017.

Nokia and HMD aside, numerous new devices launches are also expected at MWC. And Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, believes it will be tough to stand out from the crowd in the "current sea of sameness" that characterises Android smartphones.

"The rumour mill is indicating that Samsung won't be launching the Galaxy S8, so this leaves an opportunity for another phone manufacturer to make a splash. A key trend we expect in flagship devices will be taking the screen right to the edge of the device — something we've seen already from Sharp and more recently Xiaomi with the Mi Mix phone," he noted.

Although there is a risk that natural language interaction with services may be "prematurely labelled 'AI'," according to Peter Briggs, senior analyst at GlobalData, Wood from CCS Insight believes that the arrival of natural speech interfaces is also set to make voice a hot topic again after years of it being an almost a forgotten element of communications technology.

It's difficult not to include the all-pervasive Internet of Things (IoT) in an MWC "top 5". Martin Garner, SVP at CCS Insight, expects the focus to shift from new technology to service implementation, aided by the "accelerating alignment with key verticals".

"We expect this to be a very prominent theme as 3GPP-based solutions (Cat-M and Cat-NB1) finally start to build momentum and rival proprietary alternatives such as Sigfox and LoRa," said Geoff Blaber, VP research, Americas, at CCS Insight. "This will be evident in module, commercial deployment and service announcements. However, until we begin to see specific verticals start to scale, fragmented proprietary approaches are likely to coexist alongside 3GPP-based NB-IoT,"

Kester Mann, principal analyst at CCS Insight, said possible market fragmentation will also be a key topic, "particularly in relation to use of 28GHz spectrum, a band challenging for Europe due to use by the satellite industry. Indeed, lofty ambitions in other regions may see Europe's role in 5G come under new scrutiny despite commendable recent ambition from the European Commission".

In tandem with 5G, CCS Insight also expects to see a significant focus on LTE Advanced Pro with a host of carriers touting 'Gigabit LTE' network upgrades.

Read the full article here.