Before packing my bags for Spain, I took stock of my inbox for MWC meeting requests. A quick search showed I had more than 100 emails about 5G. "Solutions for cloud-based 5G infrastructures," one read. "5G is happening," another proclaimed. "Meet with XX 5G exec?" "XX invites you to experience the new 5G era." From demos of super fast phones and connected street lights, to obscure infrastructure projects that will actually form the backbone of 5G, the thirst was real.
Cut to the first official day of the show, and it was almost impossible to avoid the in-your-face signs attempting to lure you to "5G open innovation" demos. Everywhere we turned, we were confronted with yet another banner. This isn't surprising of course, 5G is very much a mobile communications standard and we were in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, after all.
This isn't the first time 5G news has permeated MWC -- in years past, we saw companies show off "the first 5G phone," even before the spec was approved. But at MWC 2018, we were seeing not just a few obvious proofs of concept, but a broad creative range of connected devices.