Werner De Laet, Innovation Manager at Orange Belgium, visited the Mobile World Congress and shares his views on the mobile world over the medium term.
5G and beyond
According to Werner De Laet, Innovation Manager at Orange, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is no longer a private gig for “techies”. "It is no longer just about the mobile industry and operators, it also focuses on the question of how we can use 4G, 5G, mobility, etc. It goes much further than just mobile phones and smartphones, as we know them now. "
5G is clearly today’s buzzword. But this technology and its applications are obviously still in full development. “You can see that everyone is thinking in the same direction and developing at a fast pace, thus I expect that in two years’ time we will be a lot further in terms of 5G”, adds Werner De Laet.
Internet of Things
The possibilities are endless in terms of IoT. However, its growth will depend on the number of applications that provide real value to the user or a return on investment for the company. Werner De Laet: "It will be the users out there who will determine if an app is worth paying for. An example: as a car driver I'm tired of searching for a parking place and I would not hesitate to pay a subscription of EUR X to have the guarantee that a parking space is reserved for me when I’m looking for one."
When it comes to mobile connectivity, Orange supports all technologies. We are currently rolling out LTE-M and Narrowband IoT.
A few highlights
Werner De Laet saw a few remarkable premieres. For instance the launch of Huawei’s P10 smartphone and of course the “re-launch’”of vintage devices like the Nokia 3310 and a few Blackberry handsets. These last products are mostly fashion trends, which are aimed at bringing some nostalgia to the sector but don’t contribute to technological evolution.
Working to shape the future
Werner De Laet concludes: “There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to shape the mobile world of tomorrow. All eyes are set on 5G technology – especially on the applications we can expect. Artificial Intelligence is also high on the agenda. Eventually, with sophisticated systems, you always end up with AI. If you want your systems to react autonomously, AI is the motor of all these applications.”