Mobile World Congress 2015
7layers Impressions

Ratingen, Germany, 18.03.2015: The Mobile World Congress 2015 took place in Barcelona this month with yet another record number of visitors. 7layers, a Bureau Veritas Group company, once more exhibited at the most important wireless event of the year, which attracted more than 93,000 visitors.

Bureau Veritas is a world leader in conformity assessment and certification services, offering services and solutions that support clients from a large variety of industry groups, thereby helping to ensure that their assets, products, infrastructure and processes meet standards and regulations in terms of quality, health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.

7layers is the wireless/Smart World specialist within the Bureau Veritas Group,  supporting industries that are increasingly involved in the rapidly growing usage of wireless communications technologies, devices, services and applications. The 7layers engineering & test centers in the USA, Germany, P.R. China, Korea and Japan offer engineering services, test solutions, testing and market access services, that address essential requirements such as connectivity and electromagnetic compatibility, data security, accountability and quality of Smart Services.

Here are some of 7layers impressions from the many novelties and general buzz around the Mobile World Congress 2015

While the world’s smartphone manufacturers naturally use the Mobile World to showcase their latest developments, the trend towards the Internet of Things is making a strong mark on the show and its exhibitors and visitors. Row upon row of new mobile phone models still attract visitors, but what really captures their imagination are the exciting trends such as Smart Cities, Connected Cars and Mobile Payment, or the future developments of LTE and upcoming 5G technology.

Admittedly, there were many striking new phones, tablets or wearables shown at MWC by the world’s most renowned industry leaders and promising newcomers, but nowadays these are more a case of evolution rather than revolution.

More potential for revolution is emerging as the banking sector goes mobile

While 1.2 billion people around the world have traditional bank accounts, a further 1 to 2 billion may be interested in accessing money through a mobile phone. Admittedly, digital payment has been around for some time, but the fight is on with the three main mobile operating systems now ready to go for the payment market. In future, consumers will be provided with more and better choices built on collaborations and acquisitions across credit card issuers, operators and phone manufacturers. What impact these developments will have on emerging countries and for people who have no traditional bank accounts remains to be seen.

Credit card issuers expect Near Field Communication to be the most important technology for the future of mobile payment. NFC is the technology that transports encrypted certificates  ̶  which ensure identification and non-repudiation  ̶  between the so-called “secure elements” of a purchaser’s mobile phone and a payment terminal. 7layers is able to support this promising development with its InterLab Test Solution Device/UICC, which comes with an NFC test case package.

Since roaming fees tend to be an obstacle for the usage of mobile technologies, over-the-air subscription management is a trend one should keep an eye on. This enables devices equipped with “embedded SIMs” to change their mobile network operator just by downloading a different profile, thus making “roaming” a thing of the past. The mobile world expects the car industry to become the most important driver of “embedded SIMs” integrated into their connected vehicles.

Car manufacturers no longer shy away from the Mobile World Congress

Car manufacturers are working more closely with wireless technology experts than ever before. While in Europe the OEMs have a memorandum of understanding concerning the development of an Intelligent Transport System encompassing car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication under the European ITS directive, the US department of transportation (USDOT) drives the V2V and V2I initiatives with the objective of saving lives, money and resources. As part of a group of companies that are developing the USDOT Connected Vehicle Certification Environment, 7layers is at the forefront of this development.

However, car manufacturers and the wireless industry currently cooperate not only in developing the long-term vision of driverless cars. They also work on other, shorter-term developments that will make driving safer, more environmentally friendly and more convenient. For example a group of traditionally unrelated companies are now cooperating to allow drivers to order and pay for pizzas hands-free from the car; a mobile network operator has the vision of cars becoming “an extension of the home”, thus combining driving and Smart Home offerings; a Swedish automobile manufacturer is working together with a provider of communications technology & services to teach cars to warn each other of trouble ahead, and a car manufacturers’ alliance promises that their vehicles will take over the driving seat in stop-and-go traffic to facilitate lane changing and traffic flow.

Technology development from LTE to 5G

But what happens if your driverless car reacts to an unexpected obstacle just that little bit too late? To ensure this doesn’t happen, a new technology is emerging at a time when LTE is still perceived by many of us as being the latest, newest and best ever mobile technology. But with two leading telecommunications equipment & services companies showcasing their efforts towards 5G at MWC, the race for the new technology seems to be gaining speed, even though the technology requirements are not yet really clear. However, demand for 5G increases with every new wireless application and one thing is certain: The hyper-connected society with ubiquitous connectivity will only function if data speeds become even faster than today and latency rates can be reduced to below 1ms. No doubt we will have to visit the MWC in Barcelona a few more times before that becomes reality. Meanwhile, we expect the exhibition to evolve from being predominantly a platform for launching new mobile phones, to a networking event across a broad variety of industries driving Smart Services and the Internet of Things.

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