The requests for meetings at the 2014 Mobile World Congress have been hitting my email box with a fury for the past two weeks. And although the annual conference in Barcelona does not begin until Feb. 24, I'm already able to predict a few big trends that I think we'll be hearing about.
First, momentum around the Internet of Things is escalating. You can't attend any tech-oriented trade show without hearing about IoT and how it's going to revolutionize the way we live and work. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show we saw examples of how everything can be connected and now we are seeing big companies like Google investing in the IoT space. The company recently announced a $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs, which makes smart thermostats, smoke alarms and other home gadgets.
At this year's MWC, look for the GSMA's Connected City to be in the spotlight once again on the show floor. And add to that an expanded NFC experience.
But beyond the hype of IoT, I expect the wireless network to continue to be a focus at this annual convention, which typically draws more than 70,000 attendees to Barcelona every year. Small cells, HetNets, and of course the promise of LTE Advanced will be prominent in every discussion.
The FierceWireless team will be exploring both LTE Advanced and Internet of Things in depth during our luncheon panel sessions that will be held directly across the street from the Fira Gran Via at the Fira Congress Hotel.
My colleague, Mike Dano, executive editor of FierceWireless, will host the IoT discussion Tuesday, Feb. 25. He will be joined by Glenn Lurie, president, emerging enterprises and partnerships at AT&T; Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm Interactive Platforms and senior vice president of Qualcomm Technologies; Matt Thompson, general manager, developer evangelism at Microsoft; and John Horn, president of Raco Wireless. They will discuss how technologies such as RFID, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and NCF will work with cellular and wireline networks; the framework needed to support IoT; and more.
On Wednesday, Feb. 26, I will host the LTE Advanced panel. Joining me will be Kris Rinne, SVP of network architecture and planning at AT&T; Jinsung Choi, executive vice president and head of ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom; Aicha Evans, VP, Platform Engineering Group at Intel; Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas; and Rasmus Hellberg, senior director, technical marketing at Qualcomm. We will discuss the current status of LTE Advanced globally and look at the pros and cons of deploying the technology.
Register here to attend either one or both of these luncheon panels at Mobile World Congress. I'm looking forward to a frank discussion on LTE Advanced and IoT with some of the industry's most respected experts. I hope you can join us. --Sue