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MWC 2017 is almost upon us! Here are 5 happenings you won’t want to miss, from conference talks to product launches

Mobile World Congress. Three little words that are enough to get any tech industry follower excited. The mammoth mobile conference, held annually in Barcelona, Spain, sees over 2000 exhibitors reveal everything from new smartphones to the latest VR innovations and weird wearables, to crowds topping 100,000. While you won’t find anything from Apple at MWC (they prefer their own event WWDC), everything else mobile that matters happens at the Mobile World Congress before it happens anywhere else.

While it’s impossible for one person to see everything at MWC17 (27 February to 2nd March), some things are absolutely essential viewing. Here are Justinmind‘s 5 Mobile World Congress must-sees for this year.

ZTE’s gigabit smartphone

We move a step closer to fully functional 5G devices with ZTE’s announcement that it will launch the world’s first LTE gigabit phone at this year’s MWC. ZTE are keeping the details under wraps until the big reveal, obviously, but the Chinese brand has released enough to get mobile-watchers excited:

The ZTE Gigabit phone will revolutionize connectivity with a new standard of download speeds, 1Gbps, bringing a qualitative leap to a new world of mobile experience by making 360-degree panoramic VR video, instant Cloud storage, entertainment upgrades and fast cache of ultra Hi-Fi music and movies possible.

ZTE’s device comes off the back of new tech such as the Snapdragon 835 processor, which has a modem allowing for gigabit-ready connectivity. And of course ZTE isn’t the only one looking to leverage this new tech – Qualcomm already announced their first LTE modem. ZTE’s MWC launch looks set to be the first in a new era of infinite cloud storage and entertainment.

Artificial Intelligence: Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

We predict that AI will be the most talked about topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and this platform discussion condenses two hot topics into one talk. Starting off from the understanding that advances in natural language processing have already brought as sophisticated technologies such as VPAs, the discussion will look towards the future of AI. Smart hubs, smart homes, deep learning, self-learning machines: the possibilities are huge and all point towards a revolution in the provision of goods and third party services. Experts from Google, IBM Watson, Sage and more will discuss.

The return of the Nokia 3310

Wind the clock back to 2000, because according to VentureBeat we’ll be seeing the return of the trusty Nokia 3310 at this year’s MWC. Now operated by HMD Global Oy, the Nokia 3310 was one of the best-selling handsets of all time in its heyday. Still it may seem kind of strange to re-release the feature-light, call- and SMS-only phone in an era when smartphone use is becoming the global norm. VentureBeat concludes that the handset will be bought by nostalgic users looking for a second device; but maybe the re-release is more about HMD generating publicity around their devices’ durability and practicality.

HMD will also reveal 3 other Nokia handsets at this year’s MWC – Nokias 6, 5 and 3.

IoT: Light Beyond Illumination

We all know that mobile devices have revolutionized data collection and use. In this MWC discussion, experts from Philips Lighting will talk about the possibility of using the lighting grid to collect data and provide services around any movement users make. By connecting lighting points in homes and urban spaces to the IoT, it might be possible to create smarter, more liveable cities and new retail opportunities. The talk will be a great chance for software developers, marketers and smart city leaders to find out about “the power of light beyond illumination.”

Disruption in Digital Finance

Bringing together experts from the likes of CaixaBank, PayPal, and others, this discussion platform will examine how the financial services industry is changing thanks to digital tech. Mobile banking, Point of Sale systems, segmented services and cashpoint innovation are combining to make banking more efficient, customized and targeted. Start-ups are disrupting how the big players do business, and the established banks are fighting back with new services and products.

Talk attendees will find out how industry players are competing or collaborating to change digital financial services.

Cassandra is Marketing Lead at Justinmind

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  • Really looking forward to the MWC 2017. Virtual assistants have come such a long way and, with millions of R&D dollars being pumped into AI and IoT, the world of mobile technology is at the brim of yet another revolution. We live in interesting times!