Since the main IoT report was written right before Mobile World Congress, we felt that providing readers an addendum with our hot-off-the-press MWC observations would provide significant value. Here’s our perspective from the show floor in Barcelona.
MWC IoT Overview
From a CSP perspective, there were two sides to the 2017 edition of Mobile World Congress—one sobering and the other cautiously optimistic.
The downbeat side was perhaps best articulated by Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises. “Revenue is tapering off, and down to single low-digit figures, which is unsustainable in a capital intensive business,” he said.
According to figures quoted by Mittal, mobile industry capex levels are around $200 billion per year. The return of capital employed, however, was single low-digit figures. “You may as well put the money in the bank and go and play golf,” he added bluntly.
The upside was that MWC was awash with bullish forecasts, fueled by IoT and M2M, about the number of connected devices.
According to new research published by the GSMA, 5G will account for 12% of total mobile connections in 2025, or 1.1 billion. Another forecast, cited by Huawei, reckons more than 50 billion terminals and devices will be connected by 2020. In addition, over 50% of data is expected to be analyzed, processed, and stored at the network edge in the future.