Next week this year’s annual Mobile World Congress takes place, and much of the attention will be on the new hardware that gets showcased at the week-long event.

Behind-the-scenes though, or rather in less public view, there will be a number of themes being discussed at MWC 19, with a focus at coming up with solutions that could be implemented in the telecoms and mobile industries moving forward.

More specifically MWC 19 has eight core themes that will be explored. This is what will be brought to the fore in Barcelona.


The first core theme of MWC 19 is connectivity, which is rather broad considering it’s for a mobile-focused event.

For this year’s Congress much of the talk will centre around 5G. It’s also a theme that has been explored to some extent at past MWC’s. With 5G taking further steps to coming to fruition, now we’re going to see how this enhanced level of connectivity can deliver better services and improved performances for current offerings across the board.

As such there will be presentations on use cases by exhibitors, as well as business models and challenges with regard to regulation and spectrum.


Another broad theme is AI. The technology is anticipated to reach an estimated market growth of $70 billion b the end of next year, which therefore begs several questions.

Where MWC 19 will focus is on the “real potential” of artificial intelligence, and in particular how this technology will be responsibly managed.

As such exploration of this theme could have an impact on both the consumer and business market.

Industry 4.0

This theme will look at the confluence of different technologies, and how this will have an impact on the mobile industry as a whole.

More specifically how digital transformation will take effect, with smart manufacturing viewed as one of the technologies at the fore.

This will also focus on IoT, physical cyber systems, cloud and cognitive computing.

Immersive Content

When it comes to immersive content, it appears as if consumer and business appetites for virtual reality and augmented reality services and offerings have not dissipated.

Instead of focusing on the types of VR and AR tools that can be developed, MWC 19 will look at the challenges, revenue models, and the relationship between the growth of immersive content and the capacity of networks.

Once again, 5G has a potential impact here.

Disruptive Innovation

When looking at disruption, every new business wants to the Uber of its industry, while those already established businesses are aiming not to be disrupted by newcomers.

As such, there needs to be a more conscience effort to be agile, especially when speed of innovation and the ability to accelerate has changed things in the business world.

This will serve as the primary focus for MWC 19 when it comes to this theme.

Digital Wellness

This next theme is one of the more interesting, especially as smartphones and mobile devices have proved so pervasive in our everyday lives.  

As such it raises some serious questions about the addictive nature of mobile technology, and how society can create less of a dependance on them, while still extracting the most possible value that such devices have to offer.

Can devices be used to address issues around mental health and digital wellbeing, even though they are seen as being the cause of the problem in many cases?

Digital Trust

Another interesting issue in digital trust, with recent high-profile data breaches eroding far more trust for consumers.

Add to this increased legislation around this issue, along greater debate surrounding data ethics, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to be aware of how they can better communicate and win the trust of consumers.

MWC 19 will explore this subject, with it likely to be expanded upon in future Congresses.

The Future

This theme doesn’t aim to look at the near, with the MWC’s standalone 4YFN (Four Years From Now) event taking care of that.

MWC 19’s view of The Future is a decade from now, and in particular looking at the technologies that will be present in 2029.

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.