Mobile World Congress is a mashup of experiential perspectives.
If you’re a glass-is-half-empty type, MWC is about sleep deprivation. 45-minute waits in the queue at the metro or taxi stand. And sore feet (our friend Zoran Kehler at Reverb Networks says he averaged 15,000+ steps per day based upon his Nike Fuel Band!).
If you’re the glass-is-half-full type, it’s the chance to connect with global business and technology partners to initiate solutions that will be showcased next year in Barcelona. Swill caipirinhas with FierceWireless editors Mike Dano and Phil Goldstein at 1:30 AM. Or share a taxi with Damon Wayans.
MWC is also full of contradictions.
In spite of drawing more than 85,000 attendees, MWC is an incredibly cozy event where one is constantly bumping into current and former colleagues among the sea of people.
And even though the only common denominator in the Fira Gran Via is mobile, friends such as iBwave say MWC and the unfocused sprawl across eight enormous exhibit halls is by far the most impactful conference on their event calendar.
So, what did we learn?
A common theme was that the industry continues to struggle to discern between the slideware and facts surrounding the use of indoor and outdoor small cells to solve for network densification.
It’s long been our position that small cells are not the death knell for Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) as some have previously suggested. Widespread deployment of small cells is inevitable, but DAS isn’t going away. Rather, both will play important roles in a pragmatic “toolbox” approach.
Which ushers in a related topic: backhaul strategies for network densification. Which appears to be the elephant in the room compared to the hot topic of small cells (our friend analyst Iain Gillott at iGR previously blogged about this).
Much ado has justifiably been made of wireless backhaul technologies. Yet industry experts at last year’s Small Cells World Summit told us that wireless operators prefer fiber when it is available. And through our experience in working with wireless operators in South Korea, we know that interference from everyday occurrences such as buses, rainstorms and – er – bird poop can significantly impact wireless backhaul QoS.
Fact is, given the scarcity of real estate and business process to ubiquitously roll out densification strategies such as oDAS and small cells, backhaul similarly requires a toolkit approach.
We’ll have more on these topics in future posts.
And now for the photos…
Backhaul, Cloud RAN, DAS, Distributed Antenna System, Fronthaul, In-Building Wireless, Mobile World Congress, Small Cells, Solid Technologies