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Mobile World Congress 2022 Glimpses

With more than 60,000 attendees though well short of the 100,000+ figures in the pre-pandemic era, Mobile World Congress, Barcelona (MWC) 2022.

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VoicenData Bureau
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With more than 60,000 attendees though well short of the 100,000+ figures in the pre-pandemic era, Mobile World Congress, Barcelona (MWC) 2022 finally happened as a live event. It was refreshing for the industry to reconnect face to face.

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We take a quick look at the cornucopia of technical delights that greeted visitors.

Mobile Phones

The consumer space was dominated by the latest in user devices. Although none revolutionary there were some notable announcements.

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Apple won the award for the best Smartphone, fighting off competition from Samsung, Google, and guess what, itself. Lenovo debuted its Legion Y90 gaming phone.

Huawei revealed its MateBook Paper, which is an e-book reader and a notebook in one.

Sikur One, a new security-focused business smartphone, was launched by Brazilian company Multilaser.

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Oppo showcased a breakthrough in fast charging technology. It can fully power a battery in 15 minutes without causing lasting damage.

O2 / Telefónica Germany and NEC Corporation announced their collaboration in launching the first Open and virtual RAN architecture-based small cells in Munich, Germany.

Open RAN

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Vodafone, a key proponent of Open RAN said they would use the technology in 30% of their masts (around 30,000 sites) across Europe by 2030 with rural areas being the first to benefit. When the roll-out reaches cities, the equipment from any existing 5G masts being replaced would be reused elsewhere to reduce wastage.

O2 / Telefónica Germany and NEC Corporation announced their collaboration in launching the first Open and virtual RAN architecture-based small cells in Munich, Germany.

Closer home, STL, together with ASOCS and VMWare, announced the launch of their end-to-end 5G Enterprise solution based on Open RAN, to address the growing demand for private 5G enterprise connectivity for the campus, industrial and venue applications.

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The poster-boy of Open RAN, Rakuten Mobile, added former Chairman of FCC, Ajit Pai, to its board and made a slew of announcements with key players like Cisco and Nokia that aim to make its offering, Rakuten Symphony, the next best invention since sliced bread. Rakuten also ended up winning the “Best Network Software Breakthrough” GLOMO awards at the MWC 22.

As far as the new kids on the block go, AccelerComm was presented with the Best Digital Tech Breakthrough Award for Companies with Under $10 Million Annual Global Revenue Award at the 2022 Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards. The company’s award-winning 5G Physical Layer IP For Open RAN is a carrier-grade solution that increases spectral efficiency and reduces latency in an Open RAN 5G communications system.

Saankhya Labs showcased their wireless communication products and solutions, including ORAN 7.2x compliant single-band and dual-band 5G remote radio units (RU), RAN-Wiser Hardware hosting the Distributed Unit (DU) software, Broadcast Radio Head (BRH), Android Mobile Phone (MarkOne model) with built-in digital broadcast receiver SoC Prithvi 3.0 and a Satellite communication terminal – Navdoot 2-way MSS terminal for real-time tracking and 2-way communication with fishing vessels in the deep sea. The diversity in the product range is simply quite outstanding for this Indian semiconductor solutions company.

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Private Networks

Accenture and TIM Brasil showcased their 5G Quality Inspection Use Case in Stellantis Automotive Pole in Goiana, Brazil. Stellaris is using 5G and video analytics to capture images of a vehicle’s movement along the production line — with low latency and high data threshold of 5G networks, the real-time transmission allows for immediate quality inspection.

Cisco talked about their private 5G offering which integrates with existing enterprise systems and WiFi, operates as-a-service on a pay-per-use basis, and supports Open RAN principles. The service allows operators and IT vendors to design, integrate, and deploy private networks with an initial focus on manufacturing, warehouse logistics, hospitality, energy and utilities, mining, and education.

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Qualcomm said it was developing a chip-to-cloud solution that will be paired with Microsoft Azure. To speed the deployments of private 5G networks, Qualcomm and Microsoft are building pre-validated, private connectivity architectures. The solution will boost industrial IoT, other enterprise applications, and also 5G-connected PCs.

Samsung announced that they have been selected by NTT East, to jointly expand the private 5G network business in Japan, helping to support the buildout of secure dedicated networks for various enterprises. Samsung also won awards for its virtualized Radio Access Network solution.

JMA Wireless launched a Multi-Operator Owned Network (MOON™), which allows Enterprises and Carriers to operate Multiple Independent Networks on a single Software-based infrastructure, reducing the time-to-market to hours (as claimed by them).

HPE launched its private 5G solution pre-integrated with radio access capabilities from several vendors, to allow a rapid and flexible rollout.

China Unicom Beijing and Huawei were recognized for their 5G Capital project, which involves the two parties jointly promoting 5G development, building 5G gigabit networks in Beijing, and fully utilizing 5G to create value for industries and society. The partnership includes several aspects of a smart city.

As part of the GLOMO shortlist for 5G Industry partnership, China Mobile was nominated for its private 5G network for Hunan Valin Xiangtan Iron and Steel (XISC) in China (one of the world’s largest steelmakers) significantly increasing the productivity levels in its plants following the deployment.

XISC says that its detection of steel surface defects improved from 90% to 95%. Its output per employee rose from 920 tons of steel per year to 1380 tons and reduced its production costs by 10%. Overall it saw a 30% increase in production efficiency due to the 5G/edge network and saved CNY100 million (USD15 million) per year.

The Smart Port Solution — implemented by Tianjin Port, Huawei, and China Mobile — won the Best Mobile Innovation for Connected Economy. The solution at Tianjin Port delivers —a new intelligent system that connects port operations, automates transportation and increases efficiency while saving costs and energy. The Smart Port Solution uses intelligent twins, autonomous driving, 5G, cloud computing, and IoT.

AT&T is field-testing new 5G small cell radios that can hide on top of streetlamp posts. The new radios were born out of a partnership between AT&T, mobile technology manufacturer Ericsson, and urban solutions provider Ubicquia. These new low & mid-band 5G radios can be deployed within 15 minutes on streetlamps with no long wires and big, bulky boxes.

Vodafone announced a Digital Asset Broker trial, which allows devices to communicate with each other to pay for services. For example, electric cars pay for charging, cars automatically find and pay for parking spaces, rental cars automatically bill for pay-as-you-go use, and home energy smart meters settle bills by direct debit.

Green Networks

Nokia continued its focus on green networks. Their Liquid Cooling portfolio reduces energy consumption by up to 90 percent and base station CO2 emissions by 80 percent compared to traditional active air-cooling systems. Nokia’s CEO, Pekka Lundmark emphasized the need for a tight interconnection between electricity and telco networks.

Fujitsu announced it will launch new vRAN technology that the company claims could slash base station emissions by 50%, in addition to offering end users a higher quality of service. The innovation makes use of artificial intelligence to optimize computing resources, thereby enabling a high level of performance with low power consumption.

HCL Technologies (HCL) announced the launch of two 5G applications to help reduce energy consumption across 4G and 5G infrastructure. By analyzing traffic patterns, the energy-saving application identifies where network infrastructure can be temporarily powered down during off-peak times, such as at night, without impacting quality.

Cisco talked about their private 5G offering which integrates with existing enterprise systems and WiFi, operates as-a-service on a pay-per-use basis, and supports Open RAN principles.

Connectivity

Orange said it will switch off its 2G and 3G networks in Europe by the end of 2030, paving the way for spectrum refarming to boost more advanced and efficient 4G and 5G services.

Ericsson demonstrated Dynamic Radio Resource Partitioning (DRP) that would ensure configured spectrum resource sharing among 6 mobile network operators (MNOs) using Malaysia’s Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) wholesale 5G network.

Metaverse & football

Lamanauskas of Envision Associates compared the Metaverse with historical suggestions in the past about video calling being a killer app for 3G networks. Now video calling is here, but it didn’t arrive with 3G, and there is a very different set of players from the early days.

SK Telecom gave a glimpse of their Metaverse platform “Ifland” which is SKT’s metaverse platform and rapidly gaining popularity in Korea. Upon entering the company’s booth, visitors were greeted by Ifland avatars that appeared on a large LED screen located at the center of the booth. Visitors could experience ‘Metaverse Gallery’, where they could enjoy guided tours of digital art galleries, as well as ‘Metaverse K-pop Concert’. On the sidelines of the MWC 2022, Meta announced a partnership with Telefónica as a part of which the two companies will establish a Metaverse Innovation Hub in Madrid.

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta revealed that the club wants to create its own cryptocurrency, and regards blockchain as a key tool for the creation of compelling services for the club’s 300 million fans around the world.

hemantka@cybermedia.co.in

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