The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, a four-day event billed as the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry that begins on Monday in Barcelona, here are predictions for what three of this year’s biggest trends will be:
- 5G will be top of the agenda:
In 2016, fifth generation mobile networks (5G) was the hot topic at MWC and will continue to be so this year. Gigabit long term evolution (LTE) technology will be showcased and is set to hit everything from smartphones and laptops to portable hotspots and cars. It is a significant upgrade on existing technology that provides higher connection speeds for devices.It will be a number of years before consumers get their hands on 5G connections, however, a range of industries will see first-hand how the technology can handle a video-first mobile approach, which has a much heavier reliance on fast internet connections.5G offers huge opportunities to digital media companies and advertisers, especially as mobile video revenues are matching broadband revenues in some countries, such as South Korea already. From a business-to-business (B2B) perspective, this technology will create an entire ecosystem based on monetisation.
- B2B is finally being disrupted by fintech:
Undoubtedly the fintech revolution has reshaped finance for everyday consumers around the world. However, for business, it has had less of an effect. Traditional financial institutions have been very slow to make financing decisions for firms in need of quick capital, especially start-ups. Because of this, many businesses are now looking to alternative financing options, powered by fintech innovation, which are now worth £3.2bn in the UKalone and will only keep growing.A range of industries, including digital advertising, are now being affected by B2B fintech innovations on offer. Due to outdated methods of dealing with payments, many companies within the digital media industry are unable to conveniently and quickly access their revenues. This hampered ability to readily access capital makes dealing with unexpected economic issues, such as Brexit, more difficult, particularly for small to mid-sized companies (SMEs) which are more cashflow dependent. Those with readily available capital can pivot faster and more easily in the face of unexpected events than those who don’t. Alternative fintech financing solutions, which are driven by a mobile-first approach, are driving this long needed change.
- A year of M&As:
This year, we’ll likely see more merger and acquisition (M&A) activity as mobile and telecoms businesses will look to form strategic partnerships with a range of industries, from digital services to fintech firms, all with the aim of enhancing what they do. Fintech will be a key driver in this industry shift, especially as decision-makers in the B2B space believe it to be, with 83% feeling that their business is at risk of being lost to fintech companies.
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