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By 22 February 2018 | Categories: feature articles

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Mobile World Congress 2018 kicks off next week, with media and consumer tech companies alike descending on Barcelona to see the latest devices that the industry has to offer. It's not just about the new hardware though, with MWC routinely addressing the current and emerging trends in mobile. 

This year's iteration is no different, and before things get underway, we've highlighted four key themes that will be focused on at MWC 18. 

4th industrial revolution

It's a term bandied about every tech conference these days. Our own new president Cyril Ramaphosa even mentioned it recently in his State of the Nation address, but how will MWC tackle this topic?

The focus for next week will be on automation and how the technology can be integrated into current smart services, such as transportation and communication. Set to influence almost every area of the tech industry, MWC 2018 will also be looking at some of the business concerns and opportunities that the 4th industrial revolution has brought to the fore.  

Tech in society

Another broad topic, tech in society will come under the spotlight as MWC 2018 looks at the ethics and guidance that are needed for the new technological tools being developed. The event also aims to host several panel discussions to unpack important questions such as what will it take to make a better future and how we can avoid taking wrong turns on the way.

5G's return on investment

5G and its potential as an IoT enabler was a big trend at last year's MWC, with several demo areas set up for smart city solutions on display. This new network standard is currently under development by a number of service providers, with their solutions also set to be on display at MWC 2018. 

One aspect of 5G that will be interesting to learn about will be the return on investment that such a network will yield. With the opportunities that 5G offers being weighed up against the technical challenges and cost, ROI will form a key consideration for several countries.

Applied AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was one of the major trends in tech last year, and continues to be so. For MWC 2018, panel discussions will be looking at how AI can be leveraged in the management, scaling and use of data sets. With big data a buzzword only a couple of years ago, empowering it with the promise of AI poses a truly interesting proposition for organisations.

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