Monday, February 9, 2015

Preview of Mobile World Congress

Each year the Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona, Spain, for all who are involved in the mobile phone / cellular communications industry. So it is also, of course, of interest to engineering students, especially those studying communications technology. This year it will be held from 2-5 March 2015.

As a preview to the news from the congress (which I will write a post about), students can read an article from the website, described as "Resources and analysis for electronics engineers."

The article, Mobile World Congress 2015: trends, issues & predictions, provides an overview of what is expected at the congress.

Link to article:

Included on this page is a video (5:49 minutes) of news from the Mobile World Congress 2014. The narrator is very easy to understand, as he speaks slowly and clearly. There is also no background music, which can sometimes be distracting. Students can use this for listening comprehension and also as a basis for discussing which devices were new last year and how they developed over the year.

Before reading the article, students can first brainstorm what they consider will be the near-future trends in mobile communication, and then compare it with the ideas expressed in the article. The author, Ian Poole, focuses on 7 areas:
  • Connected devices
  • 5G
  • LTE deployments and resulting issues
  • NFC
  • Radio access network
  • Backhaul
  • Mobiles, manufacturers and apps

Quite honestly, there were various terms and abbreviations that I didn't know, and had to look up before the lesson. These included: 5G, LTE, NFC and backhaul.

To make students more aware of issues involved in working with laypeople, or with other professionals who are not in their field, I chose 5 terms and had students work in 5 small groups, each group focusing on one term. They had to prepare an explanation of this term for a layperson - me - by describing it simply, and providing examples a layperson would be familiar with.

Although it wasn't so easy for them, it did help them understand that what is very clear to them because of their specialization knowledge, is not so clear to people outside of their field.

In addition to this work, they discussed which trends they though were most important, and further predictions of their own.

We plan to compare the work we did with news that will be available after this year's Mobile World Congress.

Website of Mobile World Congress 2015:

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