The entire world of technology looked to Barcelona: at the world's largest mobile technology fair, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the smart phone, tablet and mobile communications suppliers showed where the journey of digital applications is heading. INSIDEista attended the event - as a great carnival fan, I even missed the processions in Germany just to be there!
An article by Verena Wachten
The 2,300 exhibitors from 208 countries managed to attract over 100,000 visitors to the MWC 2017. The relaunched Nokia 3310, a nostalgic product from the pre-smart-phone era, already created great hype even before the event. As you already know: Snake and T9 dictionary were once cutting edge. The exhibitor’s stand was therefore besieged. There were few surprises about devices. Other topics were higher up the agenda at this year’s congress. For example, “5G” – the new data transmission generation of mobile communications standards.
Connectivity with 5G
No one could avoid this subject at the MWC 2017. Network operators and suppliers are working at full speed to expand their networks beyond LTE from 2020. 5G is more than just a mobile communications standard – this was also reflected in this year’s diversity of exhibitors. For example, various new suppliers who want to network their products with 5G in future were represented – with the focus on speed and the Internet of Things. There were hardly any major providers who did not deal with subjects relating to 5G – whether the connected car, smart home or smart city.
Internet of Things
And this is where we come in. For the Internet of Things (IoT) also plays a crucial role for us at ista. At the MWC, we presented our pilot project in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom for the evaluation of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), a low-power wide-area (LPWA) technology: we want to make the Internet of Things usable for the housing industry nationwide.
LPWA technology is one of the most discussed innovations in the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications for the Internet of Things. Analysts expect that there will be roughly three billion LPWA connections by 2023. This technology is regarded as a reasonably priced solution with a low power requirement, high building penetration and good range. Ideal for ista.
Against this background, we are examining the future use of this technology for connecting our smart metering devices to transmit consumption data to our servers. For today, ista already has 15 million so-called “connected devices” in multi-family buildings throughout Europe. Their data have so far been transmitted using the GSM mobile radio network. The new IoT technologies are the next logical evolutionary step for us.
Trend towards intelligent living
“We see a clear trend towards the smart building among our customers in the housing industry,” says Jochen Schein, ista’s COO. “The demand from owners and landlords for networked, digital devices is rising continuously. That’s where we come in and make the multi-family building intelligent.” Well worth knowing: multi-family buildings account for almost half of the 40 million apartments in Germany.
Whether smart building, connected car or even the Nokia 3310 – at the end of a day at the fair, one thing struck me and played on my mind: we are now all so connected but despite this (or perhaps because of it?) many fair visitors are sitting alone on benches, chairs or the floor. Naturally, with a smart phone or tablet. But ultimately all on their own.
Picture credits: ista