Countdown to MWC24: Key Trends on Our Radar

Our M&A team shares what they are most looking forward to learning more about at the show

February 2024

This year, Lumine Group returns to MWC for the largest and most influential event for the connectivity ecosystem. Over 90,000 attendees are expected in Barcelona, Spain from February 26 to 29, 2024 to take part in one of the industry’s largest events.

The 2024 show theme, Future First, emphasizes the need for industries, continents, technologies, andMWC Blog 1 Article  (1) communities to work together to unlock the potential of a connected future. The agenda is influenced by six sponsored sub-themes that mirror current trends and technologies in the space. Those areas of focus are 5G and Beyond, Connecting Everything, Humanizing Artificial Intelligence, Manufacturing Digital Transformation (DX), Game Changers and Our Digital DNA. 

For our team, MWC offers the unique opportunity for an on-the-ground perspective of where the industry is heading, a chance to meet with our global network and gain a first-hand recount of the most buzzed-about trends & topics.

Ahead of the event, our team shares a few trends they are most interested in uncovering further at this year’s show and to continue watching unfold this year.

Elliot Yunger, VP of Corporate Development | AI's Impact on Self-Healing Networks

“Being at MWC is like stepping into a comms and media wonderland. It's a great opportunity to reconnect with our network, establish meaningful connections, and explore the latest industry trends, all against the backdrop of an amazing city. It's a front-row seat to what's coming next and kicks off the energy for the year ahead.”

5G has been a topic we’ve seen over and over at MWC. I don’t anticipate this year will be any different. With the focus of this year’s event being Future First, what I expect to see is more of how Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and automation will be integrated to influence operations while leveraging 5G.

One topic that stands out is how the integration of AI can impact self-healing networks using the power of 5G.

AI has brought a transformation in the realm of self-healing networks, revolutionizing the way networks are managed and maintained. One key impact lies in proactive issue detection, where AI algorithms continuously monitor network performance in real time. Through predictive analysis, AI leverages historical data to anticipate potential failures or degradation in performance, contributing to a more resilient and reliable network infrastructure. This proactive approach enables the identification of potential issues before they have a noticeable impact on the network’s users.

5G infrastructure allows for increased speed, bandwidth, and lower latency – allowing for all this self-healing to happen faster. Not only will this create a better customer experience but will potentially free employees to focus on other tasks, creating several efficiencies for organizations.

With these networks allowing for a better customer experience, faster remedies to network failures or quality issues, and reduction of network outages, the market is projected to grow from USD 0.6 Billion in 2022 to USD 2.4 billion by 2027.


This is just one aspect of the intersection of AI and 5G, offering a glimpse into what the future holds. I'm eager to see how this topic is covered and discussed at MWC, and to explore the efficiencies and opportunities it brings to our portfolio companies and the industry at large.


Arjan Stroomberg, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions | AI in Communications

“MWC is really the key global conference for anything Telecommunications. It offers the unique opportunity to meet with all the key industry players in one location. After a week of meetings, you get a real sense of where the industry is heading. For Lumine, it is great to meet with companies that could become part of our expanding ecosystem.”

As we embark on this new year, a noticeable surge in discussions surrounding generative AI is evident within the telecommunications sector and beyond. Here are the top trends I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this year and beyond:

AI Governance - Changes in Privacy, Security and Trust

Telcos will collect and use direct data more than ever before (e.g., app usage patterns, call patterns, recharge history, etc.) to enhance customer experience and provide personalized services. As a result, they will face heightened scrutiny in ensuring the security and privacy of user information.  

Data Availability  

Publicly available high-quality data will likely be exhausted before 2026 and organizations will require private and/or synthetic data. 

Race to API-driven Customization

Businesses will seek to leverage AI to reduce the complexity and cost of building in-house platforms. As a result, companies will embrace pre-built AI tools, services, and systems with less development or infrastructure setup.

Convergence of Telecom and Energy Networking 

Energy networking combines the capabilities of software-defined networking and an electric power system; AI is optimizing power usage, distribution, transmission, and storage and providing greater visibility into the network. 

I look forward to seeing how these trends are covered at MWC and will shape the technological landscape ahead.

Connor Ennis, Director, Corporate Development, Americas | The Monetization of 5G

"As the Director of Business Development for the Americas, I've been a regular at our North American tradeshows, but MWC24 in Barcelona will be a first for me! I’m excited for the firsthand experience, insights from industry pros, and to dive into the unique energy of Mobile World Congress."

In 2024, the telecommunications industry stands at the crossroads of transformative 5G advancements, with network slicing emerging as a game-changer. I’m curious how this is covered at the show. This innovative capability allows carriers to tailor virtual networks to specific user needs, from facilitating industrial IoT communication to enabling ultra-reliable, low-latency networks for remote surgery.

Recent figures from GSMA intelligence indicated that 5G connections were to double over the next two years, with new network deployments in more than 30 countries in 2023 alone. The focus now shifts to how companies will monetize the value of these networks.

5G's promises of lightning-fast speeds, increased connectivity, and low latency have the potential to revolutionize how we live and interact. Fixed wireless access (FWA) emerges as a bright spot, offering a wireless broadband solution to expand connectivity without extensive infrastructure changes. According to a new 2024 Trends to Watch Enterprise 5G Monetization report, companies should begin to explore FWA multi-access edge computing and network slicing to create new revenue streams within 5G.

While these topics have been covered over the last few years, I am curious to see how what the industry has learned so far informs what will come next.

As the industry charts its course for 2024, a delicate balance between enthusiasm and pragmatism is essential when we think about 5G monetization, ensuring sustained innovation while meeting customer needs.

Darren Smith, Corporate Development Manager, EMEA | IoT Evolution 

"It's a pleasure meeting industry experts at MWC in Barcelona — a yearly focal point. Connecting with our network in person is invaluable, and witnessing the latest tech trends that shape the Telecom industry and gauging attendee reactions firsthand is always exciting. Looking forward to the show!"

This year, the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape continues to make profound shifts. IoT, at its core, involves interconnecting physical objects like household appliances and cars through sensors and software, enabling data exchange among devices.

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes IoT to a new level, creating AI-Augmented IoT (AIOT). This evolution expands the definition of smart devices to include systems capable of decision-making through AI and machine learning. The challenge lies in managing interactions among these intelligent devices, necessitating the development of protocols for harmonious collaboration and secure data sharing. In 2024, the trend will focus on establishing frameworks for effective coexistence and fostering a wave of innovative gadgets.

The discussions around IoT naturally extend to the pivotal role of companies in the telecommunications sector, foreseeing their influential role in driving IoT solutions. The societal impact is vast, empowering communities through technology. Edge computing emerges as a force shaping IoT development, decentralizing data processing to the network's edge for faster response times and reduced latency. This trend addresses the increasing demand for real-time analytics and applications requiring immediate data insights, marking a paradigm shift in IoT architecture.

5G technology acts as a catalyst, propelling IoT expansion by providing enhanced speed and reliability. This connectivity leap significantly impacts sectors requiring instantaneous communication, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and smart cities. Voice-activated smart devices continue their ascent, offering increasingly sophisticated user experiences as natural language processing and voice recognition technologies advance.

Businesses must strategically navigate these trends to fully leverage IoT's potential in reshaping our interconnected future. I look forward to seeing and discussing new developments of IoT at the show!

Ciaran Fenner, Sr. Associate, Corporate Development, EMEA | VR Beyond Gaming

"As someone who has been living in Barcelona since 2022, you can really feel the city come alive around the time of MWC. Held in a terrific venue just on the outskirts of the city, it is a fantastic event for maintaining existing connections and establishing new ones within the Communications and Media sectors, as well as seeing firsthand the technologies that will shape our future."

Mobile technology is undergoing a transformative phase, driven by the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR). AI is revolutionizing smartphones with predictive algorithms and intelligent voice assistants, impacting user interactions across diverse industries. Augmented Reality enhances the user interface by overlaying digital information onto the real world, creating immersive experiences in gaming and practical applications in education.


The synergy between AI and AR extends into Virtual Reality (VR), reshaping the gaming landscape and finding applications in education and training. Beyond gaming, VR has practical applications in education and training, allowing individuals to simulate real-world scenarios for enhanced learning experiences.

Last year at MWC, we saw Telefonica showcase a holographic telepresence, providing a live, real-time experience where visitors could see their 3D figure in personalized avatar format, and then integrate the avatar in real time into VR and AR environments. It was incredible!


This year, I’m eager to witness more examples of how VR aims to go beyond the 'gaming' sphere and drive impact in across several different sectors to create more immersive, stronger experiences for customers and consumers.

If you’re interested in Lumine's journey, expertise, and knowledge MWC is a great time to connect. Book a meeting here.

Lumine Group acquires, strengthens, and grows communications & media software businesses. If you can’t attend in-person, then be sure to continue to connect with us on our social media platforms, blog, or feel free to reach out if you think Lumine could be a fit for your business.


Deloitte - Technology, media and telecom predictions

Forbes - What you need to know for future

Forbes - 5G and the path to Monetization

Global Newswire - Self-Healing Networks

GSMA - Second wave of 5G