Windhoek-The World Mobile Congress, which is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, drew to a close in Barcelona yesterday.
The World Mobile Congress is organised by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) and this year took place from 27 February to 2 March 2017.
The Congress was themed “The Next Element” which is in anticipation of what is to come, the next technologies, next societies and how the next technologies like 4.5G and 5G are set to improve our lives.
Attending the Congress, Tim Ekandjo, from MTC provided an overview of the 2017 Congress.
He said the mobile industry continued to be characterised by high levels of growth and opportunity, and as the industry became more dynamic, the opportunities within it increased in equal amount, as did the challenges.
In 2017, the Mobile World Congress conference programme provided an essential, in-depth coverage of the contemporary and future mobile industry, highlighting specific areas of growth and opportunity.
“Kicking things off on Monday was Sony, which announced a trio of new smartphones. Easily the standout, however, is the seriously impressive Sony Eperia XZ Premium. It has a 4K screen that supports HDR as well.
“It won’t work in 4K all the time, but when you download 4K HDR content from the likes of Amazon Prime Video, you’ll get the full resolution on offer, which strikes us as rather natty,” Ekandjo said.
Nokia licensee HMD Global launched some new smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The company launched the new series 6, 5 and 3. All the phones will run Android Nougat and will come with the Google Assistant.
The company also launched at least four smartphones, which will include the erstwhile Nokia 3310, e-series, a new P1 and the global edition of the D6 that was a huge success in China.
Most of the attention was however around the new generation 3310. It is not a smartphone. It supports 2.5G with a special browser. It has a 2MP camera and a 2.4 screen. Battery life is of course brilliant with a month’s standby and 22 hours talk time.
TCL and BlackBerry kick-started MWC Barcelona with the launch of the new KEYone, with the familiar Blackberry keyboard and Android OS.
It features a 4.5-inch, 3:2-aspect screen and BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard below it. There’s also a 3505mAh battery, 12- megapixel rear camera and it’s all powered by the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor.
“Not to be outdone, Huawei used MWC 2017 to unveil two new phones and a smartwatch. The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are an evolution of last year’s P9.
“They still have cameras engineered by Leica, and Huawei has persisted with the two-camera combination with one colour (RGB) sensor and one monochrome one. This time around the monochrome is 20-megapixel, while the RGB sensor is 12-megapixel,” Ekandjo explained.
In addition, Alcatel launched its customary raft of new devices, with the Alcatel A5 LED the most interesting of the lot. It’s a modular device pitched at a similar price point to the Moto G5, with the key difference being that it offers a range of swappable LED back covers – one lights up to display colourful notifications, another comes with a kickstand/speaker combo, and yet another packs a 3,000mAh battery boost.
LG has just launched the new G6 smartphone with a 5.7-inch display in a 5.2-inch body. LG has been trying hard to get back in the smartphone race but has yet to make enough headway to challenge rivals like Samsung and HTC. It expects that the new edge-to-edge display will help it capture new market share.
Waverly Labs showed off a prototype of an AirPod-style wireless headset that is capable of translating conversations in real time. The magic behind the Pilot Translation Earpiece is found in Waverly’s app on a paired iPhone or Android device, which uses machine learning to translate audio, recorded by the earpiece and transmit it to your friend’s earpiece or app.
The translator currently supports French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English. The Pilot Translation Earpiece will be available later this year for US$ 299.
Also receiving much attention at the Congress was IoT (Internet of Things), and how mobile operators are gearing themselves to handle all the connected devices. Words like smart metering, SmartHomes and the connected, and autonomous cars are just a few highlights.
“MTC has a key interest in following global trends and technologies as they are launched and we will ensure that we continue to think global and act local by bringing Namibians only the best technologies,” Ekandjo added.