MWC 2024 Preview:  Mapping Companies Return, Automakers Don’t

The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, set to kick off early next week, used to see a ton of automakers—even if it was known as the world’s largest mobile phone trade show.  However, uncertainties in the world of car connectivity and European Commission regulations have kept the bigger automakers away for the past two years, according to car industry experts.

This year, however, sees the return of digital map companies, including Mapbox and TomTom [Tom2], which did not exhibit last year.  For its part, Mapbox is partnering with Snowflake and Maxar to present Digital Twin capability to telecom companies.

Snowflake is collaborating with Mapbox to present a holistic Digital Twin capability by combining Snowflake’s geospatial Telecom Data Layers with high definition terrain and imagery from Maxar (Image: Mapbox).

Maxar will provide high definition terrain and imagery, while Snowflake will offer its geospatial Telecom Data Layers and Mapbox integrate and process cellular coverage, the company said.

Telit Cinterion is exhibiting its 5G low-power wide area (LPWA) modules for indoor and outdoor IoT applications at MWC. The modules feature the new ALT1350 chipset from Sony Semiconductor Israel, which is designed for smart meters, wearables, asset trackers, telematics trackers, connected health and more.

Sony’s ALT 1350 is now available (Image: Sony).

Telit Cinterion is integrating its 5G RedCap M.2 card, the FN920C04, into Digi International‘s Digi IX20 industrial router and Digi EX15 enterprise router. The integration, in collaboration with Nokia NOK 0.00%↑, enhances power efficiency for battery-operated devices like telematics units, the company said.

u-blox’s NORA-4 module (Image: u-blox).

Another company, Thalwil, Switzerland-based u-blox [UBXN] is exhibiting at MWC and has launched its NORA-W4 series multi-radio modules.  NORA-W4 features Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth LE 5.3, Thread, and Zigbee.  It is tailored for such IoT applications as smart home, asset tracking, healthcare, and industrial automation.

Quectel launches RG255G module (Image: Quectel Wireless Solutions).

Quectel Wireless Solutions is also exhibiting at MWC and rolled out its RG255G, a 5G RedCap MediaTek-based module.  The module features MediaTek’s 5G RedCap UltraSave capability which results in 60 percent lower power consumption, the company said.  It is tailored for use in power monitoring, point of sale, industrial automation, smart energy and smart grid, mid-speed mobile broadband and wearable devices, the company said.

In other MWC news:

  • This year’s Mobile World Congress, which again is now called just MWC by its organizers, the GSMA, will focus on 5G acceleration, immersive technology and radio access networks.  Organizers expect a similar amount of attendees and exhibitors as last year’s show (88,000 attendees from 202 countries and 2,400 exhibitors).  While these numbers are way up from 2022, when it managed to get about 60,000 attendees, it is still down from the 109,000 people who attended in pre-pandemic 2019 (Editor’s note: in 2019, it was getting crowded—too much like CES).


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