The three key trends from Mobile World Congress 2018

By Johan De Mulder

Ben Phillips, MediaCom's Global Head of Mobile, reveals the three themes that dominated last week's Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona.

Artificial intelligence
"The first was best demonstrated by Daimler’s Sarah, an AI that can actually respond to our moods and adjust her conversation accordingly. If you are angry she’ll calm you down. If you are a potential new car buyer, she’ll try to motivate you.

"Sarah is a stunning demonstration of the progress that AIs are making and how powerful they could be on the customer journey. We are now creating AI-based behaviours that could help change our purchase decisions and enable companies to build a brand personality that goes far beyond simple integration with Alexa and Siri.

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Data
"The second was highlighted by Ericsson’s acquisition of Placecast, a location and data provider which it plans to use to help telcos monetize their subscriber data.

The appetite for companies with GDPR compliant data is unlikely to diminish as brands seek information that will enable them to personalise their messages.

5G
"The final key theme was the arrival of 5G in the most developed markets. T-Mobile’s announcement that it plans to build networks in key US cities this year, brings the latest technology to the world’s richest economy.

"5G has been the next big thing in mobile for a few years (and is needed more than ever as we continue to watch more video on devices with ever-sharper resolution) With 5G we’ll be able to do more with our handsets, even faster, enabling brand-led behavioural change to be even more powerful."

The GSMA reported that more than 107,000 visitors from 205 countries and territories attended the 2018 Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry’s premier event.

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