MWC mobile congress in Spain a success dominated by spat between Huawei, USA
A visitor at the Docomonen stand during the last day of the 19th Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Feb. 28, 2019. EFE/ Andreu Dalmau
A visitor walks pass the Xiamo stand during the fourth day of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, northeastern Spain, Feb. 28, 2019. EFE/TONI ALBIR
Barcelona (Spain), Feb 28 (efe-epa).- The world's most influential international trade fair on mobile technology came to an end Thursday after having been almost overshadowed by the bitter crisis that has engulfed Chinese giant Huawei and the United States, which both deployed their heavy artillery at the event.
The US sent a State Department delegation to the Mobile World Congress to warn other countries of their deep concern over Huawei, a company that in addition to selling mobile phones was also the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world.
"Do you want to have a system that is potentially compromised by the Chinese government or do you want to bet on a safer alternative,” was the question posed by Robert Strayer, the senior State Department official who headed the US delegation to the fair, sited in Barcelona.
Huawei’s rotating president, Guo Ping, rejected the accusations, saying they were totally without foundation. "They do not make sense," he added.
He said his company did not have “back doors” designed to maliciously extract or control information from third parties.
Huawei took everything related to security "very seriously," he said, and insisted it did not spy on anyone nor did it allow anyone else to spy through it.
While this battle was being fought out at the trade fair, the stands themselves were a frenzy of activity with news of the latest developments being exchanged with a large number of attendants.
All told, 109,000 visitors visited the trade fair, a record number, exceeding the previous year’s participation by 2,000, said John Hoffman, CEO of organizers GSMA.
Huawei took advantage of the fair to exhibit its full market strength, unveiling its folding mobile phone, the most expensive on the market at $2,616, and also displaying its preparations for 5G technology.
Nokia, Xiaomi and LG also presented new products, most adapted to the future fast network.
Another surprise was the presentation of the second generation of mixed reality goggles from Microsoft, the HoloLens 2.
These devices now promise to revolutionize medicine, architecture or education.
They generate holograms that can be modified with the hands, which is a giant step when linked to virtual reality.
The MWC this year aimed to show the benefits of 5G, the fifth generation of mobile communications that will revolutionize the sector due to its higher speed, capacity and reduced response time or latency.
Operators, manufacturers and experts have been proclaiming these benefits for two years.
To prove the point, the first online operation in Spain was carried out, where the surgeon was at the trade fair while the patient was four kilometers away.