How are mobile-connected products transforming our personal and working lives? Down at the GSMA Innovation City at the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) leading telecommunications companies including the Global M2M Association (GMA) showcased from February 22 to 25 products and solutions that are changing the way the world communicates
“Mobile is everything”—this year’s MWC aimed to define what “mobile” means. Which devices are or can become mobile? How does digitization change different industries and, with them, the way people live? Answers were given by more than 2,200 exhibitors, which showcased four days long innovative products and groundbreaking services at the fair ground in Barcelona. Nearly 101,000 industry experts and decision makers from 204 countries met to share news and views and initiate new business. “Mobile World Congress hit a significant milestone in 2016 as visitors to the event surpassed 100,000 for the first time,” said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd. “This year’s Mobile World Congress incorporated a diverse range of events, spanning multiple sectors and interests, reflecting the expanding role of mobile around the world. We once again enjoyed a tremendously stimulating show, featuring a world-class speaker line-up and a range of cutting-edge product launches that will set the tone for the mobile industry for the remainder of the year and beyond.”
GMA is part of the GSMA Innovation City
One of the main highlights: the GSMA Innovation City in Hall 3. Estimated 28,000 visitors experienced first-hand the impact of mobile-connected products and services on consumers and businesses. Exciting live demonstrations from GMA and other leading telecommunication providers turned the 2,000 square meters into a visitor magnet. The unique space hosted numerous cutting-edge interactive exhibits spanning a diverse range of sectors including industry, transport, health, home and retail, amongst many others. The attendees could immerse themselves into an authentic Smart City and experience how digitization could change their day-to-day world. “Whether it’s remotely monitoring our homes, pets or even livestock, keeping track of our fitness levels or providing real-time information to our cars, intelligent mobile technology underpins it all,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer GSMA, describing what the Innovation City had to offer.
This year visitors were invited to check in and board a lifelike airliner positioned at the heart of the City and to experience one of four unique virtual reality interactive journeys using smart phones and Oculus Rift headsets. They could take a virtual walk through the terminal and see, how duty free shopping becomes easier than ever with a virtual duty free shopping mall, that sees products seamlessly selected, paid for and delivered to the door. Or they were able to move into the logistical zone and see how digitization can help to never lose luggage again, or how to track goods around the World. The third virtual journey took travelers to the agriculture zone. There it was showcased, how connectivity is helping farmers track their herd movements, or see how their crops are maturing. Last but not least was the excursion into the transport zone, where not only the latest benefits of a connected car were shown, but also how bicycles can be tracked—even underground.
Many other exhibitions on connected living, digital commerce, Network 2020, and personal data completed the offering.
Highlight-Showcase: Multi-Domestic Service
In the middle of this unique site the GMA presented its Multi-Domestic Service (MDS), their innovative global M2M communication solution. Thanks to its universal SIM card and operator-overarching service platform, the MDS helps international players to globally deploy their connected products even better. Manufacturers can manage, monitor, maintain and repair their M2M products in real time throughout the distribution area of all partnering mobile network operators involved. Powerful editing functions such as flexible allocation of certain roles and views in keeping with individual needs and business requirements make the platform a useful management tool. The embedded SIM card and the M2M platform simplify lifecycle and connectivity management. From production, tests and shipping to the handover to the user, eUICC SIMs adapt automatically in the course of their lifecycle to the status of the connected products. The end user can access local information and offerings with a localized profile in the distribution areas. These MDS functionalities help global enterprises to develop connected M2M devices around the world irrespective of location and to manage and deploy them globally, in spite of different networks, requirements, and guidelines.
New Partnership with Bridge Alliance
On top of this product presentation, GMA announced a thrilling cooperation at the MWC: GMA collaborates from now on with the Bridge Alliance, an association of mobile network operators in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and the Middle East, to drive worldwide growth in M2M and Internet of Things markets. The new partnership between both organizations will focus on the joint provision of the MDS worldwide. It will provide a seamless customer experience with worldwide coverage and superior quality of service, allowing device manufacturers, enterprises, and service providers to easily deploy their IoT and M2M services. The two alliances have a complementary footprint: Bridge Alliance members cover 35 markets from Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and the GMA’s seven operator groups 42 markets in Europe, North America, Africa as well as Asia. As a result of the partnership MDS‘ footprint extends to 77 markets.
“Our appearance at the MWC was a great success. The possibility to jointly present our vision of serving global customers with an innovative M2M connectivity management service to a wide audience was invaluable and confirmed that the MDS fully meets the needs of global IoT-customers”
Dr. Alexander Lautz, Senior Vice President M2M at Deutsche Telekom and GMA founding member, sums up.