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MWC 2016 – the noisiest show yet?

Posted by Darren Willsher on 3rd March 2016

So that’s MWC done for another year and once again Wildfire was there supporting a good few clients.

The show this year certainly felt busier (no surprise since attendance broke 100k for the first time) but there was also more of a buzz about the place – and a lot more noise.

With new cars announced, everyone jumping on the VR bandwagon, the expected handset stories and lots around 5G, it seemed like there was even more going on than usual.

The big stories from this year  

For those not spending the the GDP of a medium sized country there were plenty of other interesting stories and developments to come out of the show.

Despite the hype 5G actually provided a great way for companies to tell their story this year. Until the standards are sorted there’s a lot of interest in the different applications, the target market, the tech that will make it all possible and what this means for current networks. From small cells to the business models, the 5G hype meant a lot more focus on network technology and standards.

This links into the IoT and M2M markets – granted the IoT feels like it’s been around since the dawn of time but this year it felt a lot closer to a reality for the mass market. The standards look like they might finally get sorted and we’ve all moved on from the connected fridge ideas, to products that are much more useful.

Underpinning everything is of course the network itself – with spectrum sharing the topic of much discussion thanks to LTE-U and the MulteFire Alliance who were in vocal form at the show. This story is going to be a seriously complicated one for all concerned – and the PR job from all sides will play a massive role in shaping how LTE gets to use unlicensed spectrum and the impact (good or bad) for consumers.

Every year it gets harder to be heard at MWC and this year was indeed no exception – possibly the sign of an industry in rude health but also an indication that the industry is expanding into new areas.

One thing’s for sure – if you want to stand out at MWC next year, best start planning soon…

Darren Willsher

Darren has been with Wildfire for six years and is one of the driving forces behind the agency’s telecoms and networking portfolio, with experience working on a range of international, multi-channel accounts including CSR, Picochip (now Mindspeed), Real Wireless, The Small Cell Forum, Samsung and Allied Telesis.