Top Trends from MWC Barcelona 2019 | PubNative

The dust has settled after MWC Barcelona and today we’re taking a look back at the largest mobile event worldwide and the biggest trends that emerged at the conference this year. Over 109,000 people attended MWC from nearly 200 different countries and territories, with companies exhibiting the latest technologies, from robotics to folding mobile phones. The PubNative team attended once again and got the opportunity to catch up with our partners from around the world, as well as meeting a number of new faces. Our hall (8.1) seemed slightly quieter this year, however, but we gained a lot from the discussions we had with many of the attendees.

Biggest Trends from This Year’s MWC

The hype surrounding 5G

The th5G at MWC Barcelona 2019eme for MWC Barcelona was ‘Intelligent Connectivity’ which the GSMA defines as the combination of AI, IoT and 5G networks set to transform the way we live and work. Major phone carriers such as Sprint and Verizon announced their 5G services due to be launched in the first half of 2019. 5G has been a trend during previous conferences, however this year with handsets already manufactured by every top player, it looks like it will finally be live in 2019. Mobile World Live TV trialed their first 5G broadcast live from the event powered by Samsung’s 5G network and displayed a seamless transmission from across the venue. Self-driving cars also made an appearance along with smart glasses, making it clear that 5G will go way beyond mobile as “its true value will come in connecting everything else” – smart homes, smart cities, you name it. Which brings us to the next trend…

Robots, robots, and more robots

Robot MWC Barcelona 2019Did we mention robots?! You couldn’t walk through one of the bigger halls without coming across some form of a robot performing a human task. There were robots attempting to make coffee, mowing lawns, giving out hugs to passers-by, and the more human-like robot Sophia taking selfies with her fans! There’s still a ways to go for robots to be more capable of carrying out everyday tasks but once 5G networks are fully up and running, we will see robots becoming much speedier and self-serving.

Foldable phones: the next big mobile craze?

Folding smartphones were a big hype at this year’s MWC, taking the retro flip phone style to the next level! Opening to take the form of a tablet, foldable phone models were unveiled and showcased by Samsung, Huawei, and Royole to name a few. Check out a comparison of the foldable phones at MWC here.

This year also saw the GSMA introduce biometric facial recognition for attendees entering the event. However, the ‘BREEZ’ technology often tended to have longer queues than the regular entry points, but perhaps next year there will be more contactless entrances for attendees to use.

MWC was a great chance for us to connect with partners and learn about their big plans for this year. The team also found that the topic of in-app ads.txt seemed to surface in a lot of conversations which we wrote about in one of our previous posts so make sure to have a read! Until next year…

Any other trends that we missed? Let us know by sending an email to

PubNative booth at MWC Barcelona 2019

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