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article imageFast 5G and foldable mobiles feature at Mobile World Congress

By Tim Sandle     Feb 27, 2019 in Technology
Barcelona - New multimedia applications, 5G records broken, and foldable smartphones were among the highlights so far on display at the annual 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Behind the scenes, the battle between U.S. and Huawei continues.
The Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile show in the world, with around 50,000 visitors attending the event at the Fira de Barcelona conference and exhibition center. The event is running between 25–28 February 2019.
World’s longest 5G call completed
Coming in at around seven hours, the world’s longest 5G data call has been completed. This involved the technology MiFi® IQ 5G NR hotspot and it was carried out at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The live call was carried out using a 5G NR network infrastructure, where MiFi®/Inseego (formerly Novatel Wireless) succeeded in breaking the previous record in conjunction with Ericsson. The milestone paves the way for 5G mobile communications adoption.
MiFi®/Inseego is one of the primary providers of 5G deployment in conjunction with telecommunications operators worldwide. This extends to both mobile and fixed wireless (in-home/in-office), operating across both MMwave and Sub-6 GHz.
Related to 5G HTC has revealed its new 5G Hub, which is intended for both home and office environments. The portable hub enables 4K video streaming, low-latency gaming, and the 5G mobile hotspot is equipped for 20 users. With video, the hub uses next-generation 5G speeds to stream 4K videos to a second screen.
Foldable devices
Two major smartphone brands announced bendy phones - Huawei's Mate X and the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The foldable smartphones look, at first glance, like regular devices. On closer inspection it can be seen they fold in the middle, and when unfolded this makes the screen twice as big.
These first generation devices are not cheap, however. Huawei prices its foldable Galaxy Fold at $1.980 while the Huawei Mate X is selling for $2,600. The devices go on commercial sale in the summer.
Translating earbuds
A electronic form of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” Babel fish – a Dutch startup called Travis has launched tiny earbuds that can translate conversations between people speaking different languages in real time. The earplugs rely on a form of artificial intelligence that synchs to computing in a cloud, allowing the seamless translation of 105 languages to take place.
Robotics
Innovations in robotics have also been on display. As an example, South Korean robotics company Torooc unveiled a robotic companion called Liku. The robot which walks and expresses emotions much like a human, albeit with very large eyes. The robot is 0.5 meters in height and it weighs 1.1 kilos.
Security concerns
The Congress is not all about showcasing new devices, for there are also political and economic issues to be debated. The most significant is the standoff between Huawei and the U.S. government, in relation to security issue. According to the Financial Times, U.S. government officials are seeking to convince industry bodies and telecommunications firms to drop Huawei from the next generation of mobile internet infrastructure because of security concerns.
These concerns are contested by Huawei, and the Chinese company as apparently stepped up its defensive rhetoric and struck a more aggressive tone against U.S. officials.
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