At MWC 2023 speed, Barcelona
The importance of the moment that the digital industry is experiencing in advancing new technologies, the development of 5G, and the immediate future of AI and the latent viability of the Internet of Things, were the trends in the first post-pandemic edition of the Mobile World Congress held in the Catalan capital, which had the slogan “Speed”. The event featured prominent and massive Colombian participation.
The Mobile World Congress, Barcelona 2023, ended last week with a significant presence of the Colombian digital industry. With the largest delegation from Latin America, the country was represented by about 40 companies accompanied by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism through ProColombia with the intention of offering high added value in software and mobile application development, 4.0 technology solutions such as blockchain, machine learning, AI, IoT and NFTs, augmented reality, strategic city models, and data analysis. Equally, the aim was to establish contacts and alliances that strengthen this increasingly important sector of the global economy.
Perhaps the mass media highlighted above all the fact that this MWC 2023 achieved a number of attendees and exhibitors close to those of the pre-pandemic era. But this congress, which brought together 196 delegations from over 150 countries, left, more than in its previous editions, a broad and pleasant sense of what appears to be a future increasingly anchored in technological innovations and developments, in terms of connectivity, artificial intelligence systems, robotics, and an increasingly strong recurrence to the Internet of Things.
The first two days of this event were mainly dedicated to announcements, novelties, and launches of the latest smartphone models, especially from the market-leading brands, which, as a great evolution, included foldable and flexible screen devices. In this start of MWC 2023, the Spanish company Telefónica’s deployment around its home artificial intelligence platform, its 5G network powered by renewable energy, as well as its blockchain and virtual reality solutions for education, were also highlighted as attractions.
On the path to the metaverse
The latest innovations in 5G technology and the transition to more sustainable networks were also highlighted topics in those early days of MWC 2023. “Speed” was the banner of the event and, in fact, appeared as the protagonist. The speed in data transmission as an essential condition for the future of technological innovations was associated with 5G mobile networks and their opening to a hyper-connected world. Taking it a step further, MWC 2023 debated on 6G, the sixth generation of wireless telecommunications, which promises even more speed and energy efficiency.
In conclusion, 6G will result in greater capacity to move larger volumes of data with lower latency, thus generating real-time connections and responses. This architecture will then be fundamental as a support for artificial intelligence (AI) systems in multiple industries and will also be crucial in the expansion of virtual reality, known as the metaverse
Matias Castello, founder of the company Dimple, stated at one of the conferences that the power of mobile technology poses a future focused on the creation of a mobile metaverse, which will allow for easy combination of virtual experiences with those of the real world. The executive emphasized the privacy and security that it will require, and proposed that achievements in this area will only happen if there is collaboration among the interested parties in the industry.
Regarding the metaverse, the global discussion at MWC 2023 raised the potential impact of it as an undeniable reality. Experts consider it a game changer for society. The projection of the metaverse proposes a virtual world where users can interact with each other, as well as with digital objects, in a shared and very secure environment that will have implications in all fields, from work and education to entertainment and socialization.
A future world of digital solutions.
Although the metaverse is still in its early stages, its development is expected to always have a responsible and beneficial goal. At MWC 2023, its potential uses were highlighted, such as virtual events, immersive training, and remote work. However, concerns about its negative impacts were not overlooked, such as addiction and loss of privacy.
One of the most interesting activities at MWC 2023 in Barcelona was its parallel event Four Years From Now (4YFN), which, with the participation of hundreds of digital entrepreneurs, presented a futuristic view on the combination of physical and virtual realities and their application to concrete solutions for people.
The presentation of the first startups that will be part of the Logistics 4.0 Incubator stood out for their different and innovative initiatives in the application of Industry 4.0 technologies in the value chain of the logistics sector, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, robotics, automation, photonics (producing, controlling, and detecting particles of light), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and Artificial Intelligence.
The COVID-19 effect and the pandemic state it generated are still a reference topic. This global health problem quickly accelerated the digital world, and the health sector was one of the most benefited, thanks to what are called “digital health” companies. As Albert Castellanos, CEO of the Catalan company Acció, said during his talk at MWC 2023, “this is an emerging, very dynamic industry, driven by the growing awareness of people’s physical and mental well-being, the rapid expansion of ICT, the growth of demand for remote solutions, or the increase in the use of mobile devices.”
It was no surprise, then, that the health sector was an important protagonist at Four Years From Now (4YFN). Innovative and significant digital tools such as endovascular devices, new low-code capabilities with startups specialized in precision medicine, a gene writing platform prototype to solve the main limitations of gene therapies, and another prototype to help children with cancer manage pain were some of the many proposals presented at this activity of MWC 2023
Colombia was present at the MWC
Similarly, with nearly 300 startups presented at 4YFN, various sectors of the industrial sector found new options in innovation projects and technological implementation. Many cases were in the logistics sector, but also with a strong potential associated with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printing, robotics, and intralogistics for industrial companies, sensor design, hardware for parameter control, cryptographic security, and Digital Twins, among many others.
On another level, it is worth mentioning the macroeconomic issue and its context within this world of technological and digital future. At this MWC 2023, representatives of some large investors present at the event pointed out that venture capital dynamics have changed almost completely, so in the short term, it will be complex and difficult for new entrepreneurs to secure funds to develop their projects. Although they also evidenced that if business models prove to be sustainable and seek liquidity to grow faster, it will surely be easier to access those resources
For the Colombian multinational AZLOGICA, with 15 years of experience in the digital world, a leader and pioneer in Latin America in the analysis and proposal of solutions particularly in the industrial field, from the Internet of Things, their presence at the MWC 2023 strengthens the importance of maintaining a high-level networking, demonstrating that the ability to develop high-tech solutions is not only in Asia, Europe, or the United States
For Edgar Salas, CEO of the company, with their presence at the congress, AZLOGICA achieved its goal of maintaining the leadership presence in IoT that the company had already demonstrated in previous editions of the event. “We strengthened our relationship,” he says, “with current partners such as AWS, NOKIA, or TELEFONICA, but we also created new relationships with important players such as Kyndryl, Ooredoo, and Dagram. We are confident that these approaches and the vision of business as a service for our customers will generate opportunities with a revenue calculated at $1M this year, with a growth of 25% CAGR”.