Highlights from Mobile World Congress 2015

Ikea furniture with wireless charging
Ikea furniture with wireless charging

The first few months of the year are always abuzz with tech news coming out of CES and Mobile World Congress, and 2015 has been the year of the connected everything. If you didn’t have the pleasure of traveling to Barcelona last week, we have you covered. Here is our take on the most interesting news that came out of MWC.

Ikea is making wireless charging furniture and Samsung is getting in on it

I know, more connected things. I was skeptical at first too. But then I realized this means I could ditch that extension cord that runs from the opposite side of my bedroom, under my bed, up my nightstand and under my pillow to get a charge. The idea is that you could place your smartphone on a piece of furniture embedded with the charging technology and it would then power up wirelessly. The new furniture will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and covers will be available for incompatible iPhone and Samsung models. So it’s not perfect yet but a cool concept and something I may be first in line for.

The FCC defends its Net Neutrality policy

Quick catch up: Last week the FCC announced it would regulate broadband Internet as a public utility. The new net neutrality policy is meant to ensure that broadband providers / Internet and media companies / the ones with all the money are not making all the rules for wee consumers. That means, no content can be blocked based on what we pay for Internet service and we can continue to watch cute cat videos all day long.

Naturally, the powers that be are none too pleased about the FCC getting involved. So at a conference that’s historically attended by the carriers, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler wasn’t making too many friends. The net-net of his talk? Wheeler says broadband providers will be unaffected by the policy and that the new regulations “will not dictate carriers’ rates, impose tariffs or meddle with their business.” That’s democracy in action, people.

5G is the future

We’re adding more and more things to the Internet everyday – from cars to liquor bottles – so we’re going to need a faster, stronger infrastructure that offers more mobile data volume to support more connected devices. Much of the 5G conversation right now is about establishing a common set of standards including figuring out a way to efficiently power the network, which doesn’t exist yet.

Facebook is taking over the world

Zuck shared an update on Facebook’s Internet.org project, which aims to bring Internet access to “over 90% of the global offline population who live in developing countries.” Facebook has been working with mobile operators to get the job done and so far the success rate is pretty impressive – more than 500 million people in six countries can now access the Internet through the Internet.org app.

Clearly the major theme out of Mobile World Congress this year is building a connected world, with discussion focused on how exactly we will achieve it. Over the next year, businesses and media will continue to zero in on this broader trend – making it a top priority for PR and influencer programs looking to provide relevant content and expert POVs.

We’re excited to see how these conversations unfold and which companies emerge as the major players. Until next year, Barcelona.