In the second keynote session of the first day (22 February) at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, speakers from Huawei, PayPal and Ford Motor Company revealed how their businesses are becoming more connected.
Huawei deputy chairman and rotating chief executive officer Guo Ping discussed how 5G has become the direction of future technology evolution, expected to arrive in 2020.
However, before 5G arrives, Ping felt there were three key ways to address certain uncertainties – increase connectivity, enable vertical industries and enable digital transformations.
Ping discussed the intermediate step of 4.5G, as well as the shift to being driven by demand as opposed to supply, and the challenge of redefining network capabilities.
PayPal, which saw a 20% boost in Q4, partially due to the acquisition of digital money transfer provider Xoom, is looking ahead with a desire to make mobile payments available to everyone, wherever they are.
“We are moving from being an online company to being a mobile payments company,” said president and chief executive Dan Schulman. “It is important because, even though we compete in an e-commerce market, the reality is that e-commerce is a small fraction of overall commerce.
“Mobile is blurring the distinction between the online and the in-store environments.”
Schulman went on to talk about how PayPal is turning in to both a branded and an unbranded platform, describing a new partnership which will see the payment site embedded in to Facebook Messenger, allowing users to book an Uber car without leaving the messaging platform.
“Customers can user their mobile as the central point in their financial lives,” he continued.
‘Auto and mobility company’
Looking at how the automotive sector is becoming more connected, Ford Motor Company president and chief executive officer Mark Fields discussed how it is expanding to an “auto and mobility company”.
Fields talked about how, due to gridlock increasing and the world becoming more urbanised, congestion is often viewed as more stressful to commuters than their day jobs.
“At Ford, we’ve decided to disrupt ourselves, by expanding our business model,” he continued, revealing that Sync3 will be coming soon to Europe featuring several developments on the already-popular voice activate communications system, including being more intuitive, easier to use and quicker.
Following positive results on Ford’s on demand car share service, it will launch “GoPark” to make parking in cities easier and less stressful.
He also talked about how the company’s investment in driver assist and semi-autonomous tech will triple over the next five years, including a focus on traffic jam assist and fully active parking assist.
“As we make the transition to auto and mobility company, we are transforming the customer experience,” he said. “We know we need to engage customers differently going forward.”