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The Mobile World Congress (MWC) takes place in Barcelona in two weeks (February 27–March 2). This report sets out Ovum's expectations of this year's event.


  • In 2017, we expect that most digital service providers will pitch new entertainment services through relationships with content providers and internet-based platforms. Many service providers will also set out their vision of smart home and will tout new platform relationships with Alexa and Siri. On the other hand, the internet players, through their own digital services strategies, will be seeking to position their platforms to the service provider community in order to extend their subscriber base.
  • CEO keynotes can be bland rehashes of what we already know, or (more rarely) they can be enlightening and stimulating as they set out how a major player will shape the industry. We have picked what we think will be the best of the bunch this year.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the key announcements we expect from MWC 2017.
  • Details our top picks from this year's presentations.

Key questions answered

  • Whom should I see at MWC 2017?
  • What are they key trends at this year's MWC conference?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • MWC 2017 – the key congress events to follow
  • Our top picks for keynote presentations

Top trends to watch at MWC 2017

  • Trend 1: A turning point for mobile video
  • Netflix will call for new modes of collaboration
  • Improving the quality and economics of mobile video
  • The inevitable overstatement of cellular's role
  • Trend 2: Ever more connected things
  • Trend 3: Smart home finally enters early-adopter phase
  • Trend 4: The (re)birth of old device brands and AI to become the new must-have smartphone feature
  • Trend 5: The rise of chat apps
  • Trend 6: The push into richer communications
  • Trend 7: Virtual reality embraces practicality
  • Trend 8: Focus on payments and retail banking
  • Trend 9: Mobility is a key element of the digital transformation puzzle
  • Trend 10: Ever more intelligent service provider digital support systems
  • Trend 11: More detail on 5G rollouts and devices
  • Trend 12: eSIM gets real


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

Recommended Articles

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    MWC 2018 Highlights

    By Ronan De Renesse 27 Feb 2018

    Over 20 of our senior Ovum analysts and consultants attended this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In between meetings, briefings and presentations, our analyst team were blogging and tweeting about key developments, trends and rumors. Have a look through our daily MWC 2018 Highlights to find out what happened.

    Topics 5G AI IoT Cloud Payments SDN/NFV Smart home

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    IoT Viewpoints 2018

    IoT Viewpoints explore the IoT opportunity in 2018 and beyond. Download our latest e-book to get our newest collection of thought leadership articles on the emerging IoT trends, technologies and opportunities.

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  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.


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