LTE/4G networks to drive presentations at 2014 MWC: Analyst

With the GSMA Mobile World Congress for 2014 now just weeks away, a leading analyst predicts key changes relating to increased adoption of 4G networks will be a key focus of the show.

The MWC is one of the most important trade events in the mobile industry. It is used both by handset manufacturers and telcos as an opportunity to show off new products and services.

As SmartCompany reported, this year’s event will take place alongside a Samsung event called Unpacked 5.

According to Gartner research director Jessica Ekholm, higher speed LTE/4G networks provide consumers with better app performance, which in turn will impact the products and services demonstrated at this years’ show.

“4G networks provide faster response times, and also much faster upload speeds — a clear difference with the more limited capabilities of 3G networks. App performance is measured by the video image quality and playback smoothness, speed of Web page download and the responsiveness of the app — for example, how quickly Google Maps renders map images.

Ekholm says the increasing number of consumers using video and audio streaming apps would benefit from the “increased speed and lower latency that 4G provides”. 

She says mobile video has been a key beneficiary of the rollout of 4G networks, although continued growth in mobile video is likely to cause congestion on mobile networks, placing pressure on mobile carriers to optimise mobile video services.

“It is through 4G that video will come alive on mobile networks, and we expect to see rapid and strong growth in video uptake among consumers. Gartner predicts that by 2017, 100 percent of “early adopters” will watch at least two minutes of streaming video on their mobile devices daily.”

Ekholm also says the explosive growth of mobile messaging, which recently saw LG announce home appliances that can communicate through mobile messaging apps, as a trend likely to continue.

“We can expect to see is a continuation of the trend of IM chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat. Additionally, we are likely to see an increasing number of IM chat apps becoming more like platforms for shopping, browsing and sharing content rather than just for chatting.

“With currently over 270 million WeChat users and over 300 million WhatsApp users in the world, there seems to be no sign of consumers getting bored of IM chat apps.”

This year’s show will feature a keynote speech by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg,

“Mobile World Congress 2014 is set to be our biggest, most ambitious and most diverse event yet, offering new experiences for attendees across the growing mobile ecosystem,” GSMA chief marketing officer Michael O’Hara says.

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