Three Things on Our Mind after MWC 2018

Racepoint Global

Written by: Peter Prodromou – President & CEO & RJ Bardsley – Chief Strategist

As it is every year, Mobile World Congress was a busy and inspiring showcase of the very best that mobile technology innovators have to offer. On top of that, we were incredibly proud to see the Racepoint Global team and many of our clients in action as they made major announcements that will help set the tone for the mobile industry in the months and years to come.

Beyond that, however, we walked away with some insights around the forces that we expect to be driving tech conversations among the media, among innovators and among consumers.

Security Sells

While we saw some fantastically flashy devices and features on the show floor, we also noticed a considerable uptick in companies putting security and privacy front-and-center in their devices. High profile cyberattacks (i.e. RPG’s recent blog post on the cyperattack during the 2018 Winter Olympics and vulnerabilities have made the average consumer increasingly aware that security on their devices matters, and new security innovations are becoming as prominent in feature sets as great cameras and vibrant screens.For instance, we heard a lot of buzz around alternative mobile operating systems designed around security – taking all of the things we’ve learned over the past decade of smartphone innovation and reimagining how to best secure a device given the chance to start from scratch. With more and more personal information being stored on smartphones, it’s clear that there’s a real market for mobile security improvements.

This is going to become even more of a concern as AI – another trend that was impossible to miss at MWC – becomes even more commonplace and capable on mobile devices. While machine learning offers all sorts of potential conveniences and improvements to the mobile experience, it also relies on collecting and storing an increasing amount of user information. As companies move to bring AI solutions to market, the ones that succeed will be the ones who build an acknowledgment and response to security and privacy concerns into their initial messaging, versus those that wait for inevitable questions (or worse) to come from the public and the media.

Device Makers are Excited About 5G – Now It’s on Networks to Make it Happen

5G was on the lips of nearly every device maker at MWC – from demos that showed 8K videos downloaded in mere seconds to promises of high-end graphics processing on mobile thanks to real-time cloud processing, the potential for huge innovations thanks to 5G connectivity was hard to miss. But, the other thing we heard was that the challenge is now on global networks to support new 5G standards and create an ecosystem in which these devices can thrive.We walked away from MWC with the feeling that devices are on the verge of leapfrogging 4G/LTE networks and excited to see innovative carriers meet them with solutions and infrastructure that can support them. If we were to bet, it feels almost certain that MWC 2019 will be when we see 5G make its big move towards mainstream deployment.

Responsible Technology Will Be Rewarded

It may not have been on any banners, highlighted in any product demos or included in any flashy keynotes, but as we talked to attendees – media, analysts, industry leaders and more – conversations kept coming back to the deep desire for companies to show that they are aware of the social implications of the innovations they bring to market.


The past few years have been marked by a number of trends and events – security breaches, the rise of “fake news,” increased influence of a handful of major technology companies – that have caused influencers and consumers to reexamine the relationship between technology innovations and the social good.

At Racepoint, we’ve been working with technology companies to help them seize this moment and demonstrate that they can be responsible stewards of the massive amounts of capital, influence and information they control. The innovations we saw and the conversations we had at MWC reinforced that this message is more imperative than ever as influencers help shape public opinion about the role of technology in our daily lives. No one wants to see these companies stop doing tremendous, world-changing things – but they do want to see these moves coupled with an awareness of the social implications of changing the world.

As observers and participants in the tech industry, all of us at Racepoint Global are excited to see how these trends play out over the next year – and even more excited to help our current clients and new ones capitalize on them to find new success.