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MWC 2018 Connected Computing Day Three: The Road to eSIM and 5G

by Eric Smith | Mar 03, 2018

Huawei, Alcatel, and Lenovo all launched new computing devices at MWC 2018, which we covered in our first two blogs from the show. Some over-arching themes running through the week were about how to enable new use cases with integrated connectivity and an eye toward 5G network deployment.

Qualcomm had a demonstration of the HP Envy x2 2-in-1 Tablet equipped with the Snapdragon 835 chipset running video constantly through the show. In addition to its integrated LTE modem, this “Always Connected PC” boasts over 22 hours of video playback and over 20 days of standby power on a single charge. The goal here is to show that PC can run as efficiently as a smartphone and can be powerful enough for most computing needs.

HP Envy x2 powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Qualcomm Always Connected PC

Just across the showroom floor was Intel’s demonstration of a prototype 2-in-1 Tablet with a 5G New Radio receiving a 5G signal in the booth. Admittedly, the device was rather thick and heavy but it wasn’t far off the scales in either case given that it was a working prototype. There were other 5G devices at the show, like the smartphones in the ZTE and Qualcomm’s booths, but we believe this was the only working prototype that people could actually touch. It was capable of receiving Sub-6GHz and millimeter Wave signals via antennas hidden in its two kickstands, as seen below.

Intel’s 5G 2-in-1 Tablet Prototype
Intel 5G 2-in-1 Prototype

Deutsche Telekom had an interesting demonstration of how the ASUS NovaGo Always Connected PC with embedded SIM (eSIM) will work on their network. They built an app to manage devices on a subscriber’s plan and when the user scans a QR code included with the ASUS NovaGo, Deutsche Telekom will send provisioning information to their device. Then, the user accepts this information on the device and it is on DT’s network as simply as that. There are varying degrees to which operators are accepting of eSIM, so it was important that DT showcased such easy management and use of the technology for both consumer and operator.

That wraps up our blog coverage of connected computing launches and trends at Mobile World Congress 2018. We will go in further depth in our wrap-up report in the next week to give clients a better understanding of why all of these topics are important and how they could affect planning and revenues.
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