MWC19 Los Angeles: as the IoT Grows, the Mobile Industry’s Role Grows with it

The global market driving growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly moving from the nascent  and theoretical to the ubiquitous and the very real – with commercial returns looking far more likely and of greater yield than just this time last year.  In this pivotal year, then, The GSMA’s IoT Programme naturally has a packed agenda at MWC19 in Los Angeles next week, which all those hoping to discover and shape the future of connected living in the region should attend if they possibly can.

The Mayor’s Vision to the City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is an especially appropriate setting this year, with cellular technology playing a central role in the city’s Green New Deal – an ambitious plan to reduce Los Angeles’ ecological impact through advanced IoT technologies to monitor air quality, cut water use, and track the consumption of energy.  The Mayor’s Office is currently collaborating with connected asset-tracking firm BeWhere in a pilot project using Mobile IoT for these purposes, following the success of BeWhere’s partnership with the City of Toronto to monitor leakage in underground water pipelines.  The Mayor himself, Eric Garcetti, will be delivering a keynote address on this at 09:30 on 22 October, and you can drop by the GSMA Innovation City at Stand 1750 in the South Hall throughout MWC19 Los Angeles to see how IoT sensors are enabling a greener future for the good of all.

One of the highest growth areas for the IoT is connected vehicles – the market for which is due to reach a value of $253 billion by the middle of the next decade, according to Machina Research. Connected vehicles are also amongst the areas of the IoT with the greatest prospective impact on human safety – Bosch estimates that by 2025, connected cars could save 11,000 lives and lead to 260,000 fewer accidents, while avoiding 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by saving 280 million hours of driving every year.  With hundreds of thousands of connected cars and autonomous vehicles due to hit the road in the near future, the ecosystem will need to work quickly to handle the transition optimally.

Connected Vehicle Summit – NexTech Stage, West Hall

The GSMA will therefore be hosting a series of Open Summit sessions on this crucial area on Tuesday 22 October, between 10:30 and 15:45 at the NexTech Stage in the West Hall – bringing together speakers from leading operators and their partners including AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia and Volkswagen.  How 5G is Shaping the Future of Connected Car Technology will come first, looking at the future of leading-edge aftermarket solutions for connected vehicles. Managing the Crowded City Streets starts at 11:30, with discussion of the opportunities to manage increasingly congested sidewalks with smart tech, as transport options such as connected scooters proliferate. Upward Mobility: Reinventing Transportation for Human-Centric Evolution is at 14:00, with a hard-nosed look at the business models and value chains enabling the new ecosystem in connected transport, and then Securing Connected Vehicles and Connected Passengers starts at 15:00, exploring the unique security challenges facing that emerging ecosystem.

Scaling the IoT in the Intelligent Connectivity Era

Among the most significant changes for the mobile industry itself will be a vast and rapid broadening of commercial horizons. As mobile network operators look beyond their traditional role as providers of the connectivity to enable digital services, and take an active role in the provision of platforms and services themselves – in many cases with proprietary end-to-end solutions of their own – they will need to convene effectively if those opportunities are to be recognised and taken forward in a timely way.  If the convergence of AI, ultra-highspeed networks and hyperconnectivity can be widely and understood and skilfully managed – and quickly – there are opportunities at hand which are difficult to overstate. The Tuesday afternoon of MWC19LA will accordingly see a solid lineup of conference events diving into the commercial promise of diversification for operators and their partners: Scaling the Internet of Intelligent Things and the Latin America Intelligent Connectivity Summit will start at 13:00, and the session on Edge Computing: Creating New IoT Applications will take place between 14:15 and 15:15.

IoT in Retail and Healthcare

Wednesday 23 October will largely focus on the specific practical applications of emerging IoT technologies.  A session on the future of IoT in Retail will start at 13:00, taking stock of the progress made so far in automatic payments and smart shelving, and a forward look at what consumers expect next and what that means for the businesses serving them – and the solution providers serving those businesses. Then at 14:15 we’ll be moving onto Blockchain: Building Trust & Creating Value, for a no-nonsense guide to key areas in blockchain like security, fraud and identity management, and where the true opportunity lies for operators to add and gain value. Running concurrently with the blockchain session, we’ll be discussing IoT in Healthcare and how to make the gains available from data-powered smart healthcare, while treating and protecting patients in the most secure ways we can.

All of what we’ll be discussing next week in the world of IoT depends on a crucial component: consumer confidence. Without trust on the part of the user, demand and deployment simply will not materialise at scale.  We’re therefore sending attendees away at the end of MWC19 Los Angeles with a session on The Internet of Safe Things – between 14:00 and 15:00 on Thursday 24 October, at 151 Concourse Level 1. This final session will bring together IoT ecosystem players to discuss privacy, security, public safety and regulation, to focus on the enormous business implications of creating successful end-to-end security solutions. It’s open to all Gold Pass holders and VIPs.

There’s plenty more going on in IoT at MWC19 Los Angeles than we can cover in full here – for a full breakdown, please just head over to our Programme Guide for this year to see what’s happening, who’s speaking, and where it will all take place. We look forward to welcoming many of you to the Los Angeles Convention Center next week.