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Poll: 5G Steals the Spotlight at MWCPoll: 5G Steals the Spotlight at MWC

More than 1,720 of you voted in our poll on MWC's biggest trends, letting us know that while SDN/NFV were originally expected to be the hottest topics, 5G dominated the show floor.

Sarah Thomas

March 10, 2015

3 Min Read
Poll: 5G Steals the Spotlight at MWC

While Mobile World Congress watchers originally thought SDN and NFV would be the biggest topics of discussion at the show, 5G barely snuck by as the most attention-grabbing topic at the year's biggest mobile bash.

Our recent poll on MWC's hottest topics attracted a record 1,720 responses (and growing by the minute), 820 of which came during the show week as people had a chance to see what was grabbing headlines. (See Hola, MWC#15 and Poll: NFV/SDN, 5G & IoT to Dominate MWC.)

Of the 900 who voted prior to the show, 19% thought SDN/NFV would be the biggest topic during it, followed by 5G at 16% and the Internet of Things at 15%. Post-show, those numbers came to 19% for 5G, 18% for SDN and NFV and 14% for IoT as an additional 820 people weighed in. All of the other topics were in the single digits.

Check out the chart to see how the votes stacked up before the show -- with 900 poll takers -- and after when 1,720 of you weighed in.

Figure 1:

For all the coverage from MWC, visit our dedicated show site here on Light Reading.

MWC is such a huge show -- 90,000 people traversed the Fira this year -- that it's hard to pick just one or two dominant themes. It all depends on which hall you spent your time in and whom you met up with. That said, from where I sat (in the press room) and stood (halls 2 through 8.5), 5G was definitely the biggest trend. In fact, as our respondents suggested, SDN and NFV didn't come up much as we expected, although a number of operators and vendors talked more generally about their plans for virtualization. (See SoftBank Bringing Self-Learning Tools to Sprint, CEO Chat With Axel Clauberg, Deutsche Telekom and CEO Chat With Simone Battiferri, Telecom Italia.)

Instead, pontificating on 5G -- it's use cases, business models, challenges and more -- dominated a lot of attention on the show floor. (See Growth of the 5G Ecosystem, NGMN Chairman Outlines His 5G Vision, 5G Use Cases, Pre-Standards Groups Proliferate and 5G Visions Dazzle at MWC.)

The focus on 5G and SDN/NFV isn't surprising as MWC has always been the most network-focused show in the trade show circuit, leaving the gadgets to the Consumer Electronics Show. There were a number of smartphone announcements, including from LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , Samsung Corp. , Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and BlackBerry , but most of those were on the Sunday before. Then, attendees got down to the business of keeping their networks up to date to support all these new devices and attention shifted from smartphones to IoT. (See MWC 2015: Virtual Reality Bites! and AT&T Connects Cars & Trash Cans .)

Whether you were in Spain or not last week, what was your impression of the biggest themes and hottest topics at Mobile World Congress? Let us know in the comments section below. And, take a minute to vote in our latest poll, asking whether attending MWC is essential for those who work in the mobile/wireless sector, a question that was also up for debate amongst attendees last week.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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