MWC Las Vegas always provides key insights into the industry’s regional priorities and commercial opportunities. The GSMA Foundry exhibition at this year’s show was a microcosm of these trends, featuring demonstrations on C-V2X, simplified 5G application development, advanced drone testing, and aerostats-based connectivity. What sets the Foundry’s showcases apart however is that they are selected based on their contribution of unique social, environmental, or economic impacts – and are often the result of collaborations across the industry.
With the rising deployments of cellular infrastructure to meet all kinds of smart city demands, it’s no surprise to see C-V2X exhibited at this year’s event. But what was special about the Foundry’s ‘5G Saves Lives’ demonstration, between Bell and Bewhere, was its application between bicycles and other motor vehicles. Here, the exhibition simulated a loud, busy traffic junction where automobiles and bikes had to cross each other at dangerous angles. Although still in its pretrial phase, the solution could successfully demonstrate a combination of 5G and LPWA sensors and connectivity to warn drivers and riders about unforeseen dangers.
The realisation of smart cities depends on secure and safe C-V2X, but the industry still needs to work hard to ensure that developing 5G applications is as simple as possible. Nokia’s Network as Code goes a long way in resolving the issue, making use of the GSMA Open Gateway Initiative to allow developers to use standard industry APIs for their applications, rather than having to customise them according to each network.
Simplifying the development of 5G-specific applications is crucial to the technology’s success, and will have knock-on effects on many others aspects of the IoT. One of the most important of these is the drones market, and with the US drones market growing at a CAGR of 22.2% from 2022 to 2032 –a change from $11bn to $82bn – it’s no surprise that unmanned cellular flight was front and centre for many companies across the event. At the GSMA’s Foundry exhibition, we were delighted to exhibit ‘5G Connected Drones Testing’ – a collaborative project between the GSMA and Ericsson. This project is critical in determining how 5G networks can support – and be optimized for – the various needs of unmanned flight for various applications and altitudes. Now entering its second phase, the project is a key blueprint for the future of mobile UAVs.
Unmanned aerial solutions are of course, more than just UAVs – as has been shown in recent years, it’s also an opportunity to provide connectivity. This is the purpose of World Mobile’s ‘Connecting the Unconnected with Aerostats’ initiative, a Foundry initiative which uses unpowered aerostats to bring connectivity to the unconnected. This is made possible by connecting the aerial structure to a high-speed fibre connection – and then using the added high to broadcast to geographies that typically do not have access to connectivity.
Using technology for social good is a key objective of the GSMA, and for the Foundry in particular. This is why the Foundry also supported the Tech4Girls initiative, which is designed to make the telco and wider tech industry more accessible.
The GSMA Foundry plays a leading role in supporting and shaping some of industry’s most innovative and impactful deployments, and were proud to exhibit these solutions and to have had such a strong attendance at the event’s Foundry Breakfast, which attracted over 200 of the industry’s leading figures. We welcome and encourage anyone who’d like to work with us in creating next generation solutions – and will be present at MWC Kigali on 16-18 October and again at MWC Barcelona in February 2024.