February 26, 2016
Bryon Lowen, VP Telco at QualiTest reports on the key innovations and testing trends observed from Mobile World Congress 2016.
Mobile World Congress was back for its eleventh year at Barcelona and this year it was bigger and better than ever (apart from the transport strikes causing chaos!). ‘Mobile is everything’ was the sub-title for this year’s event and the mobile world of innovation continues at a rapid pace with the event really building on the key themes from MWC 2015. With the continual hype around 5G, Virtualisation, IoT and the Connected World, these areas remain as the hot topics of 2016, along with some new additions including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
The challenges for testing increase every year, with growth in huge data volumes and virtualisation, the testing approaches of old will have to adapt and embrace new methodologies to keep pace. Testing in a traditional manner will no longer suffice. Some of the key innovations and testing trends that were observed at MWC include:
- 5G – One of the biggest technology trends promoted this year was 5G. Every tech company seems to have an innovative product to help realise the benefits of 5G and it now feels like it is finally becoming real. 5G will be taking mobile data speeds from Mbs to Gbps, enabling HD video and reducing latency. The future of 5G appears to provision networks into multiple virtual private networks to provide customers tailored services. 5G will also enable NFV, as the two must go hand in hand. QualiTest have been working with a number of operators on the testing challenges of how to move from a physical to virtual network environment, and to enable a ‘Network DevOps’ model for fast paced integration. This means that 5G is going to push the limits of NFV and make the creation of mobile networks even more virtualized than it is at present.
- Augmented and Virtual Reality – All of the major smartphone manufacturers seemed to be showcasing new AR/VR products this year at MWC16. One of the most in demand tickets of the show was access to Samsung’s virtual reality cinema which had queues around the block. AR/VR instigates further testing challenges, just imagine how a test case might look or even automation?
- IoT – The Internet of Things (IoT) includes wearables, connected cars and all connected objects in the home. How will all the various devices and objects actually become “connected”, with a number of technologies already competing to become the standard IoT connection? This is the question we are all waiting to have answered. Connected Cars were a hot topic at the show this year. Keynote speaker racing driver Lewis Hamilton discussed how his connected racing car could upload huge amounts of data of its performance, allowing him to analyse every lap and ensure they could advance the car to go faster. It’s only time until the average household car will have similar technology, updating the manufacturer and warning you in advance when it has potential faults.
It has certainly been another great show MWC16 and such a great venue in Barcelona, the amount of technology is extraordinary and each year seems to get better. I can’t wait to see what MWC17 has to offer.