Mobile World Congress 2018 (#MWC18) opened Monday, February 26 in Barcelona, Spain, where more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event.

Hosted by the GSMA, an international organization that represents the interests of the mobile community, Mobile World Congress has grown over the years from an annual industry event for mobile operators into something of a global innovation show that attracts technology professionals from throughout the mobile ecosystem, including device makers, software companies, and equipment providers of all varieties.

Spread across eight halls of the vast Fira de Barcelona trade fair complex, the event features some of the most future-forward technologies and devices yet to be seen – many still in prototype, lending excitement and fascination to this event. Prominent technologies on the exhibition floor this year include Internet of Things (IoT), biometrics, virtual reality and augmented reality, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and mobile-first content.

The advent of 5G networks – now much closer to a reality with the December 2017 release of non-standalone 5G standards –  is a central topic in conference sessions, as delegates explore the possibilities for new business cases, especially those that involve IoT. In an interview with the Mobile World Daily, Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, says, “We are at the dawn of a new era in mobile with the imminent launch of the first 5G networks and the Internet of Things poised to further transform the way we live and work.”

Watch the video from Mobile World Live for highlights from Day 1 of #MWC18.

Turn Thinking Into Doing

For SAP, Mobile World Congress is an opportunity to showcase its approach for the intelligent enterprise by leveraging IoT technologies for strong business outcomes. Turn Thinking Into Doing is the theme at the SAP presence in Hall 3, stand #3N31, where visitors learn how SAP can enable them redefine their businesses into intelligent enterprises using the capabilities of SAP Leonardo – SAP’s digital innovation system that brings IoT, machine learning, blockchain, analytics, and Big Data together in real-time on SAP Cloud Platform.

Watch the video welcome from Stephan Gatien, general manager, Telecommunications Business at SAP:

“Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile event of the world and the key topic at the event is the digital transformation enabled through mobile technologies, and IoT is a fundamental part of this,” says Tanja Rueckert, president of IoT and Digital Supply Chain, SAP. “This event gives SAP a great platform to demonstrate our IoT and digital supply chain capabilities and new technologies through use cases and demos. It is also an opportunity to show the industry, that we are in the best position to support customers on their digital transformation journey and help them achieve an intelligent enterprise.”

#MWC18 gives SAP a great platform to demonstrate IoT and digital supply chain capabilities and new technologies through use cases and demos – @RueckertTanja

The Future-Ready Enterprise is one of the SAP showcases receiving tremendous attention at the event. This immersive virtual-reality showcase, inspired by adidas, takes visitors on a tour of a hyperintelligent enterprise, where radically accelerated footwear production is integrated with a tailor-made consumer experience – letting visitors virtually design, manufacture, and deliver their own customized sports shoe.

Also very popular this year is the SAP Connected Car showcase, featuring a FIAT 124 Spider Abarth roadster that combines technology and data from the SAP Vehicles Network, SAP Concur, and Tantalum to offer in-car services from parking reservation to cashless fueling and food ordering. SAP also announced the addition of Mastercard, HERE, and Postmates to the SAP Vehicles Network portfolio. To find out more, watch a video of this SAP Connected Car demo:

The SAP Digital Boardroom showcase demonstrates a live executive management cockpit, powered with real-time data coming from the digital core with SAP S/4HANA, augmented by auxiliary analytical and transactional systems. Watch the MWC18 video demo of this showcase, now enhanced for industry-specific data. Read more about the SAP showcases at Mobile World Congress.

Video Recap of Day One of Mobile World Congress from the SAP stand:

Under the SAP banner of Turn Thinking Into Doing, visitors to the stand are showing strong interest in learning how to create iOS mobile apps that integrate into the SAP Cloud Platform. The Apple and SAP Partnership showcase presents a realistic business scenario using digital transformational technologies of SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Leonardo in digital harmonization with the augmented reality (AR) capabilities of the Apple AR Kit. It has been standing-room only at the SAP theater during presentations from iOS experts and customers like SKF Group (watch the interview here) and XXXLutz with Netconomy, who are introducing the combined capabilities in their business environments.

SAP also announced enhancements to the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS to provide an engaging consumer-grade mobile work experience. (Read the press release.) Björn Goerke, SAP Cloud Platform president and chief technology officer, says, “Innovations in mobile delivery with consumer-grade experiences via our new SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS give organizations more freedom and agility to create and reinvent their businesses.”

In other important news from #MWC18, Deutsche Telekom and SAP announced the expansion of their partnership to the Internet of Things for real-time logistics. (Read the press release.) Both companies are showcasing their combined offerings at their stands.

In addition, SAP introduced SAP Big Data Margin Assurance, cloud edition, which helps telecommunications providers optimize the margins of each customer. (Read the newsbyte.) The solution leverages the speed of the SAP HANA database to make it faster for business users to quickly measure the impact of specific product offerings on specific customers, enabling them to make rapid changes to offerings that directly impact the bottom line.

Innovating with Purpose in Support of UN Sustainable Development Goals

By 2025, it is estimated that 5 billion people – or more than 60 percent of the world’s population – will access the internet through a mobile phone (source: GSMA Intelligence). That’s up from 3.3 billion people who are connected to the mobile internet today. While those numbers show the impressive reach of mobile technology, a vast number of people sit on the wrong side of the mobile gap with no access. Barriers to adoption include cost of ownership of a mobile device, digital literacy skills, and lack of relevant content for many people. Bridging this gap – and convincing industry players to take action – has been a strategic aim for the GSMA.

Themed Creating a Better Future, Mobile World Congress 2018 intends to show the broader benefits that mobile technology can bring to people through its ability to support the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The GSMA recently announced its expanded commitment to key social initiatives like Big Data for Social Good, which seeks to leverage the big data capabilities of mobile operators for disaster preparedness. As well, the organization promotes its Women4Tech program, which addresses the mobile gender gap, wherein approximately 184 million fewer women than men own mobile phones. The program also seeks to enhance opportunities for women in leadership positions in the mobile industry. Both activities support UN SDG #5: Gender Equality.

In the opening keynote session, Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA, underscored role of mobile technology in achieving the UN SDGs by 2030: “As an industry, we have an opportunity – and, I would argue, an obligation – to leverage our mobile networks and services to help achieve the SDGs. The mobile industry is helping people in times of disaster, reducing inequalities, helping to preserve the world’s resources, and we are positively impacting people’s lives every day.”

During Mobile World Congress, SAP is demonstrating its commitment to achieving the 17 UN SDGs through a robust program organized by SAP Next-Gen, a purpose-driven innovation community. This program includes #sheinnovates panels daily at the SAP theater, during which women executives and influential thought leaders discuss ways to enhance opportunities for the participation of women in technology. In addition, students participants in the Code with Purpose hackathon, organized SAP Next-Gen in collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), are on-site at the SAP stand to talk about their experiences of using the SAP Cloud Platform in the hackathon to address societal challenges tied to the UN SDGs.

OktoberFest Comes to MWC#18 at the SAP Stand

Join SAP on Tuesday, February 27, at 4pm for the only dedicated IoT Networking event at Mobile World Congress 2018 – located Networking Garden GG8 (upper concourse, between halls 6 and 7) at the Fira de Barcelona.

SAP hosts OktoberFest at the SAP stand on Wednesday, February 28, at 5:00 p.m. Stop by for German beer and food. Meet with SAP experts for a relaxed, good time!

Find out more about ancillary events hosted by SAP during Mobile World Congress.