BBC Blue Room at Mobile World Congress 2017

For BBC Blue Room

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest exhibition platform for the mobile industry. Last year almost half (47 %) of all traffic to BBC online was consumed on mobile, so it’s important that we understand what is happening in this vast sector. The BBC Blue Room sent Technologist, Deta Ward, to attended this year’s MWC, and here are his top insights.

This report is by Deta Ward. The views expressed in this report are the personal views of the author and should not be taken as the views or policies of the BBC.

Video Highlights

Phones get fatter

LG released their new flagship smartphone the G6 most notably the G6 has an 18 by 9 aspect ratio compared to the standard 16 by 9 format. LG claims it’s customers prefer a larger aspect ratio for multi-tasking and video playback. Does the world really need a new aspect ratio? Thanks LG.

HDR on Mobile

Other notable smartphones included Sony’s XZ premium which boasts a 4K HDR screen. While most content makers, including the BBC, are still trying to decide if they should do UHD, never mind HDR, Amazon have taken it beyond the TV and Tablet, and to the phone! In reality we wonder if people will really watch HDR content on their mobiles. We suspect the battery life, and data caps on their contracts will help people decide!

Super Slo-Mo

The Experia XZ Premium also incorporates Sony’s ‘Motion eye’ functionality, allowing for super slow motion up to nearly 1000 frames per second. Sony supply the camera tech in phones of other manufacturers too, including Apple products, so expect to see this feature come to iPhones and other devices too. Get ready for the super slow motion selfie.

Speed is Everything

Another large trend at this year’s show was 5G networks. Following on from 4G LTE, 5G promises theoretical mobile download speeds of up to 20Gbps. That’s 20 Gigabytes per second!

By all accounts this is the year that 5G becomes a serious topic, and the opportunities for the BBC are huge. But it has a long way to go before it becomes a reality for most people. If the take up of 4G is anything to go by, then it may be a long wait. But we hope the industry has learnt some lessons along the way.

More room for selfies

Data storage was also a hot topic with Sandisk offering their latest 256 GB A1 micro SD card, with an impressive 128mbs read/write speed. This allows for larger video storage capacity for mobile journalism, as well as increasing a smartphones performance.

But with 5G, and unlimited Cloud on the horizon, chances are you won’t need any device storage, as you will always be connected!

Net Neutrality no more?

From the Keynote, the new chair of the FCC, Ajit Pai, wants to roll back net neutrality, meaning we will see more zero rating on services and more tie-ins with telecoms and content providers. This allows our competitors to partner with mobile providers to have their content delivered first.

Snake is Back

Finally Nokia has taken a trip down memory lane and re-released their iconic 3310 model. It appears that Nokia has sensed a gap in the market opposing the omnipresence of the smartphone and appealing to the nostalgic nature in all of us. Anyone for a game of Snake?

For more information about our visit to MWC, or to learn about mobile, internet of things and net neutrality, members of BBC staff can visit their local Blue Room, or get in touch via email.