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With days left until MWC 2022 kicks off in Barcelona, many have been asking what we feel will be the big trends this year. But with Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine upon us probably the biggest conversation turner will be the impact of Russia’s invasion on the world stage. Such a dramatic danger to world peace will certainly put the rest of the show into perspective.

However, away from global politics, talk will turn to the event itself. With the GSMA having to cancel MWC 2020 and scale back the event in 2021, this year they hope MWC will be able to attract 50,000 attendees and 1,500 exhibitors. Although far less than the peak numbers of the past, it might, in fact, prove to be a blessing giving attendees and exhibitors a more manageable experience.

From a PR perspective we anticipate there will still be a lot of announcements with many of the themes echoing those we have followed over the last year. We expect 5G to continue to be a big talking point, for example with the role of fibre and 5G being high on the agenda. We also predict the conversation will turn to what else 5G can deliver with other technologies including Open RAN and Li-Fi getting a good outing.

The metaverse will also no doubt be a big focus with many brands showcasing how they intend to help people digitally engage in a multi-person, immersive environment.  In fact, there will almost certainly be talk of whether MWC one day might exist in the metaverse!

In the devices space, news looks likely to be dominated by smartphones and more specifically, many phone manufacturers are expected to show off more affordable devices with more flexible, foldable displays.

Other wider themes will include diversity and inclusion – with the hope that after 2 years away, the industry can really show the progress it has made. And in the year COP26 tried to commit world leaders to meaningful environmental pledges, this year’s MWC will hopefully show us how the telecoms industry intends to make its mark.

The Liberty team will be providing analysis and insights throughout the show – do get in touch if you would like us to share them with you too.

Elena Davidson

Elena is the CEO of Liberty Communications

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