Mobile world turns in Barcelona

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The biggest mobile industry event of the year is back with a muted bang this week as it slowly emerges from coronavirus restrictions just as world attention has turned to Ukraine.

The few mainstream media headlines this week Mobile World Congress in Barcelona concerned the lack of a Russian pavilion and the suspension of some Russian companies. Otherwise, the organizers were expecting more than 50,000 visitors and around 1,500 exhibitors. That’s down from 2019, when there were 110,000 visitors and 2,400 exhibitors, but the numbers are encouraging after MWC was canceled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the global pandemic.

The show’s themes include 5G and the large presence of Chinese smartphone makers trying to make their mark in Europe. They’ve made waves with announcements for cell phones and other mobile devices. oppo introduced his Find X3 Pro flagship phone as well as the display of its smart glasses. Realme unveiled its latest flagship, the GT2, and claimed the world’s fastest charging capabilities – 50 percent in five minutes – only for Oppo to top this with its claim of a 100 percent charge in nine minutes.

There have been low-cost phones from HMD Global’s Nokia brand and China’s Poco, while Huawei spin-out Honor has announced the premium Magic4 Pro. Huawei itself has turned its attention to the “smart office” as its phone offerings have been crippled by US sanctions. It launched seven products, including a top-of-the-line laptop and its first printer and e-ink tablet.

The network equipment business is also under pressure from Open RAN alternatives, where operators can mix and match equipment from different manufacturers. Analysts from CCS Insight highlight a partnership between Qualcomm and Rakuten to advance Open RAN.

They also say that Truphone, which is offering its e-SIM for free to manufacturers, could be a “long-awaited catalyst” for the embedded alternative to Sim cards. In 5G, advances in network slicing have been reported by Samsung and SK Telecom of Korea, which can help unlock the full potential of 5G as it enables multiple virtual networks.

In terms of several product announcements, we’ll be following the top ones this week in the Tech Tools below.

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. Crypto exchanges under pressure because of Russia
Crypto exchanges are pressured to block Transactions with Russia as Western politicians fear cryptocurrencies will provide a backdoor to move money around the world while trying to lock Russia out of the global financial system. Lex says Russia may struggle to make the switch given that the entire crypto market has a market cap of $1.7 trillion, not much more than its banking assets.

2. Former Celsius Network CFO Arrested
Yaron Shalem, now the former chief financial officer of the cryptocurrency lending platform, was arrested on November 18 in connection with suspected fraud at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. After a three-month muzzle, an Israeli judge has now lifted the reporting restriction, allowing news organizations to report the arrest.

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3. Toshiba’s boss resigns abruptly
Satoshi Tsunakawathe managing director of Toshiba, suddenly resigned on Tuesday, reviving speculation that the Japanese group will consider a take-private deal and cementing the resolve of major investors to resist the company’s plan to split in two.

4. Zoom’s post-pandemic blues
Zoom shares fell more than 5 percent on Tuesday after forecasting declining revenue and earnings for the year. Lex says A brutal 75 percent drop in the video conferencing company’s stock price from an October 2020 high mirrors the decline of other pandemic-era winners, including Peloton and Robinhood.

5. Getting rich or trying to lie
Conservative estimates suggest that more than 3.5 million influencers are involved in promoting products and services. In his book Get rich or lie trying Symeon Brown takes a critical look in this and other forms of online “hype”.

Tech Tools – Samsung’s MWC laptops

After Samsung presented its latest flagship smartphone at its own event three weeks ago, Samsung used its presentation in Barcelona to do so Show off two new laptops. The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 has S Pen functionality while the Galaxy Book2 Pro has 5G. Tom’s Guide says The pair feature upgraded webcams with better resolution and a wider field of view, and new Intel processors, but otherwise feel like iterative updates to the laptops Samsung introduced just over a year ago.

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