MWC 2022: Huawei’s Build-Up Well Underway

Manufacturer set to make a big statement in Barcelona

The telecommunication industry is nothing if not resilient; indeed, one of the industry’s greatest characteristics is its ability for reinvention. The global pandemic put that resilience to the test, forcing MWC, tech’s biggest show, to adapt to a virtual-only event in 2020 and to hold a smaller event later than usual in 2021. But this year’s event, now back in its regular late-February slot, promises to re-establish MWC as the fulcrum of the telecom calendar: the focal point for industry news, product and service launches and the global meeting place for operators, solution providers, telecom users, industry pundits and many others.

At CCS Insight, we continue to make our own preparations for MWC by holding numerous pre-event briefings, as well as listening to our contacts about their expectations. The dominant mood from those we’ve been speaking to is cautious optimism: MWC is bouncing back. Huawei, one of these contacts, gave many reasons to be positive about the event and discussed its own intentions.

Firstly, MWC is back. It will again be the platform for market engagement and major announcements. If not quite back to pre-pandemic levels, there’s a growing belief that this event will see a return to the sort of scale that makes it the premier global event for mobile networking. To date, over 50,000 attendees have registered, with more added every day. More than 1,500 exhibitors are confirmed, and there is a continuation of some of the virtual presence from recent years — a trend that’s likely to continue for a long while.

Huawei has activities planned throughout three business groups — unsurprising given the breadth of its equipment, devices and solutions portfolios. As a sign of this commitment, Huawei told us it’s increasing its exhibition space to 6,000 square metres this year.

The Chinese supplier is also looking to drum up engagement for a new business theme: Leading the Future of the Digital Telco. From our research, we’ve sensed that telecom operators are at a crossroads regarding their future business models — and their future identity, whether as connectivity suppliers or new digital services providers. Understanding the long-term road map for 5G-based services will be vital in accelerating 5G deployment and driving the industry toward the standalone 5G era — arguably when we’ll see the full value of 5G realized. We expect an announcement from Huawei about the new approach it’s taking, focussing on a more consultative relationship with mobile operators.

MWC 2022 is the place to hear about new products and solutions; Huawei will be adding to the buzz with launches of several additions to its networking and services portfolios.

The Chinese company will kick host a range of activities prior to the event, on 27 February, for invited audiences. These include a roundtable for business leaders, moderated by CCS Insight’s executive chairman Shaun Collins, a roundtable for chief technology officers, and a Lighting Up the Future summit, an event comprised of panels focussed on 5G’s “bright future”, new IT infrastructure and green development.

The possibilities of 5G, and how it relates to the design, operation and use of infrastructure, are major subjects of discussion as they go to the heart of 5G monetization and usage models. Even as 5G continues to prove itself in a range of markets, there remains much to be figured out, so these panels should be lively to say the least!

The last of these panels will explore sustainability in IT — in telecom networks and devices specifically. This is certain to be a major theme of this year’s event. Energy-saving solutions and processes, reuse and recycling principles, and the enablement effect of 5G services are all sure to be mentioned (see Delivering Innovative Sustainability Solutions with 5G). Huawei will be emphasizing its position on what it calls “all-green development”, something it promoted through 2021, particularly at its Green World Summit event, not just with low-power equipment and incorporation of renewable energy sources, but also in more-efficient network solutions that reduce energy consumption throughout the system as a whole.

Finally, MWC will be fun! As always, it will be a great opportunity to try out new 5G-based experiences. For example, Huawei is promising demonstrations of new live and interactive extended reality content at its stand — a rare chance to get a feel for future applications in this cutting-edge area.

MWC 2022 will be frenetic, but we’re looking forward to the chance to reconnect in person with customers, contacts and industry friends. Hope to see you there!