The Mobile World Congress 2015 attracted more than 90 000 visitors, a new record for this annual event in Barcelona, where Internet of Things and 5G was in focus as well as the launch of new products, services and initiatives. Several key notes were delivered from EIT ICT Labs partner organisations on the topic of 5G - where we are, when we can count on the first implementations and how big the change will be.
EU commissioner for the Digital Economy & Society, Günther H. Oettinger, presented the 5G PPP vision (5G public private partnership) and stated:
- Everything is turning digital, from cars to cities to services to machines. The digital economy is simply becoming THE economy. And the future network infrastructure, 5G, will become THE infrastructure. Everybody and everything will use 5G.
- 5G should become an innovation platform. And with softwarisation and network virtualisation, open networks platforms will lower market entry barriers for service developers, and stimulate a market of third party providers. Tomorrow with 5G, the network itself could become a development platform!
The startup space at 4 Years From Now (4YFN)
At the old fair grounds, the Fira Montjuic, more than 8,000 people visited the MWC side event 4YFN, talking not only about mobile devices but also about entrepreneurs, investors and the world of startups in general. EIT ICT Labs supported startups Undagrid and Atooma had their own stands and pitched in the IoT awards.
Many activities were taking place within the event at the same time; some targeted at the general public in order to raise awareness regarding tech initiatives that aim to improve people's everyday life. Others, such as a wide variety of workshops on specific platforms or solutions was more suited for the tech community to learn about new tools and opportunities. In one of them, based on Sigfox, the EIT ICT Labs supported startup Agroptima was recognised with the best application, presenting the Openweathermap after just 2 days of development.
Investors growing more positive to invest in European startups
Some of the largest institutional investors in Europe and worldwide were gathered at the event and in a talk on the second day of 4YFN, Mattias Ljungman, Atomico was quoted saying:
- It's a great time to invest in European startups, the mindset throughout the continent is changing and we are seeing interesting startups popping up in every country.
Philippe Botteri from Accel partners added that:
- Europe has shown that it is capable of creating super-tech giants such as Spotify and Supercell, and the best thing is that it seems the pace won't slow down in the coming years.
"Really useful week in Barcelona, with lots of new contacts"
The EIT ICT Labs business community of Future Networking Solutions was at the MWC and supported eight startups with pre-booked meetings with potential clients, collaboration partners, investors and press. Tomas Bennich, founder of Sweden Mobile Association (SMA), also organised VIP networking for the business community who could speed date with representatives from Nasdaq, Northzone , Google Ventures, Tune, Vinna Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Tele2, KPN.
- The companies had many opportunities to network and present their business ideas. Highlights were the matchmaking at the stands of Telefónica and Orange, getting access to the right people onsite and providing real leads to follow up on. Idea Challenge IoT winner Undagrid got an interview with Tech.eu and got some extra attention as they pitched at the IoT awards, together with another Idea Challenge finalist - Atooma.
At a breakfast meeting in Stockholm on March 20th, the business developers Agneta Jacobson, Raoul Stubbe and FNS action line leader will share some of the ideas for the business community. Attendees will also get a Best of MWC wrap up from Tomas Bennich and an exclusive Trend report from media partner Mobil Business - sign up here: bestofmwc15.splashthat.com
- Watch "Evothings at MWC2015 with FNS business community" on YouTube.