AI Dominates as Main Trend at Major Mobile Technology Fair

AI Dominates as Main Trend at Major Mobile Technology Fair

Mobile Technologies and Services in 2023

Mobile technologies and services have made a significant impact on the global economy in 2023. The global association GSMA released data on the first day of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona which showed that these technologies and services accounted for an impressive 5.4 percent of global GDP. This translated to revenues of approximately US$5.7 trillion. Furthermore, nearly 5.5 billion people across the globe were users of these technologies and services.

The Role of Mobile Operators

During the opening of the congress, Mats Granryd, the general manager of GSMA, highlighted the significant role of mobile operators in the world. According to Granryd, 65 percent of the world’s network connections are conducted through mobile operators. The success of these operators is evident in their ability to tap into new sources of income, enhance user experience, and make significant savings in capital and operational investments.

Investments in 5G Technology

Looking into the future, the GSMA predicts that by 2025, mobile operators will need to invest about $1.1 trillion in capital investments. The majority of these investments will be directed towards 5G technology, which is expected to be launched in about 30 new markets, predominantly in Africa and Asia. Granryd stressed the importance of unlocking the full potential of 5G, a technology that is yet to be widely used across the world.

Private 5G Networks

Granryd also made an assessment of the progress made in the commercial capacities of 5G networks by operators. He identified the emergence of private 5G networks as a significant trend. By the end of 2022, around 30 percent of operators worldwide had launched or tested private 5G networks. This figure is expected to double by the end of 2023.

Mobile Internet Users

Recent GSMA data revealed that by the end of 2023, the number of mobile internet users worldwide had reached about 4.7 billion. This represented approximately 58 percent of the global population, a substantial increase from the figures in 2015. However, there still exists a digital or mobile gap. Around three billion people live in areas with network coverage but still lack access to mobile services. The main barriers to access are general and digital illiteracy and poverty.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a major trend dominating discussions at MWC. Industry stakeholders are debating its justification, benefits, and potential exaggeration. The adoption of AI across various industries in terms of regulation and other issues is also a hot topic. These discussions are expected to continue in the coming years, along with other emerging challenges.

Trends and the Future of the Industry

The future of the industry also sees trends such as eSim, smart mobility through connected electric vehicles, commercialization of drones, and digitalization of railways. Additionally, mobile technologies are making a strong presence in the financial, sports, and entertainment industries. The MWC in Barcelona, which is the largest gathering of the global mobile industry in Europe, is being held for the 18th time from February 26 to 29. It has attracted more than 2,500 exhibitors, predominantly from China, and is expected to draw around one hundred thousand visitors.

Future First

The theme of the congress is “Future First”. This theme encapsulates the importance of AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the so-called digital DNA. These elements are deemed necessary for the development and sustainability of not only the mobile and other industries but also society as a whole.