1. Small cells are *literally* about to take off... again
With 5G well and truly on the menu, the first 5G NR standards released and significant deployments across the pond with the likes of Sprint’s Magic Box could this finally be the moment small cells take off? There’s no doubt it will be an essential step in the network densification required to enable 5G, but what will it take for small cells to have some serious weight put behind it by customers? Sure there have been a heap of enterprise deployments, real interest created by CBRS and some notable deployments in Asia and the US, but what will it take for the truly scalable mass deployments from global operators? There was a lot of awesome new kit at MWC, but disappointingly few announcements from the network operators about any major deployments. There’s definitely something in the air, and once the brave first mover jumps in, it’s likely to kick-start an exciting new era in the European connectivity market. Private comments and conversations on site indicate something is coming though, so watch this space!
2. Those "29 billion connected IoT devices" you've heard of... someone's about to flip their switch
We've been "on the verge" of an IoT revolution for some time now, but this is about to be assisted by the development of mobile IoT. The GSMA forecast that by 2025, 50% of the installed base of IoT devices will be LPWA enabled, so it is about time that people started paying attention to what LPWAN can achieve. From cows and vineyards to air quality and car parking, new applications are constantly being developed, and low power, wide area networks are about to connect them all together. Now that networks are available, it is now up to the entire industry to develop the LPWAN ecosystem and drive an ROI.