This year’s MWC Barcelona event was – as expected – dominated by 5G. I was a bit surprised to not hear about a Spain-wide shortage on the number “5” and the letter “G” because it seemed that they were all being used for the show.
While the technology itself was central to most conversations, there were three interesting tangents also on the minds of many. These were how edge computing was going to factor into deployments, what is the business model for 5G, and security.
For the first, it appears that edge computing will most definitely be a big part of 5G deployments. This is necessitated in many cases by the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum resources that will power 5G networks and the low-latency applications those networks are expected to support. The real question on edge computing is just where will this “edge” be and how will it be implemented.
The second tangent was harder to nail down. The only “real” business model discussed was for high-speed wireless broadband services that can compete against already established wired broadband connections. Sure, everyone seemed to have their “imagine this” or “what if” that example of some utopian 5G-powered adventure. But in the real world of today, 5G is all about higher data speeds.
But, it was the topic of security that nearly stole 5G’s limelight. And that was helped by Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping, who took the stage at a keynote and cracked: “There has never been more interest in Huawei, we must be doing something right.”
(Note to MWC Barcelona organizer GSMA: have a drummer ready with a rimshot on standby for all keynote addresses.)
Of course, Ping was referencing Huawei’s current position in the central of a geo-political squabble between super powers over the use of the company’s equipment in 5G deployments. And instead of backing down, as many suspected the normally reserved company would do, Ping showed that Huawei was not just going to roll over.
Now, I don’t want to re-hash the intricacies of what has become a pretty compelling drama as a quick search for “Huawei” on SDxCentral.com should provide you with plenty of details. But I will note that Ping’s move did reverberate across the event’s numerous and cavernous halls. And even better, it was nearly enough to displace the uber-topic of 5G as the event’s most compelling talking point. All I can say is that I hope that Huawei keeps trying.