The latest Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) may have recently wrapped up in Barcelona, but we’ll all be talking for a while about the eye-popping advances around connectivity, real-time analytics and data in motion.
We saw exciting updates, for instance, on the drive to commercialize 5G connectivity and what it will mean for a connected vehicle ecosystem. Given that 5G will run on higher frequency signals than 4G, we can expect more capacity and lower latency — both of which will work toward supporting V2V (vehicle to vehicle) communications.
The insights on connected vehicles weren’t simply limited to technology. As an example, one session highlighted how autonomous driving will change the entire ownership model for cars. Expect to see a massive pivot toward on-demand mobility — including ride sharing and car sharing — as an alternative to outright ownership.
Ultimately, one full autonomous vehicle has the potential to replace 11 conventional vehicles, reduce transportation costs by 75 percent and significantly reduce traffic fatalities. According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 million people die in traffic accidents annually, and autonomous vehicles could save 10 million lives per decade.
IoT innovation, meanwhile, played a prominent role. A tour through MWC’s dedicated IoT pavilion featured a fascinating array of technologies facilitating our connected world. Nokia deserves special mention for introducing Sensing as a Service, a cloud service provider (CSP) approach to monetizing IoT by performing analytics on data obtained from IoT devices for customer insights and other use cases.
When it comes to network support of IoT, the jury is still out on the applicability and coexistence of Cat M1/M2 and NB IoT. Most experts on the ground in Barcelona agreed that much more still has to be done to solve remaining questions around cost, roaming, scalability, security and the simplification of services and devices. A lot of eyes are on these questions, especially as the number of IoT carrier partners now tops 3,000 and the IoT itself on track to grow to more than around 20 billion devices by 2020.
Finally, CalAmp made plenty of news of our own at the conference. We were among the finalists in MWC’s Global Mobile Awards, under the Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive category for our CrashBoxx Vehicle Risk Management system. And we came to Barcelona armed with two recently-announced partnerships:
We fielded a lot of questions at the conference about our collaboration with CargoSense to deliver critical telematics information on high-value, sensitive air cargo for a major airline. There was also a lot of interest about news that our subsidiary, LoJack Italia, is partnering with fleet management and leasing giant ALD Automotive Italia to provide CalAmp’s enhanced telematics around real-time fuel and maintenance data – as well as CrashBoxx services – to ALD and its customers. We couldn’t think of a better forum than MWC 2018 to show our own commitment to leading the connected economy!