How Brits are at the cutting edge of conversation (Paid Content by The UK’s Department for International Trade)

Mobile World Congress is open for business, and the brightest business minds from around the globe have descended to chart new paths across the technology landscape.

The coming days will witness cutting-edge conversations around hot topics like 5G, blockchain and the Internet of Things — the outcomes of which will help set the direction for the industry in the coming year. It’s here that British experts are actively staying ahead of the curve, shaping those discussions and sharing their insights and technology. 

We’ll be updating this article every day with the latest trends from MWC 2018 and examples of dynamic British companies forging ahead in these areas. Read on below for what we’ve learned so far.


The IoT needs to get serious about security

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly. To keep all devices protected, the tech industry need to agree on how to create a set of comprehensive IoT security guidelines that fit all enterprise scenarios.

This is the issue that British expert Ian Hughes, senior IoT analyst at 451 Research, aimed to tackle while chairing a MWC mini-lecture series. He introduced insights from the likes of Cisco, who called for the creation of a global, isolated, secure private network to combat the “catastrophic” security risks industrial IoT poses. 

The idea of this global IoT network would be to isolate assets from prying eyes on the internet, ensure attribution and attestation, and bridge roots of trust across hardware and humans.

Ian Hughes later referred to this approach as core to the IoT development. After all, if data is the currency that will fuel the value of these new IoT services, how will we ensure the secure transport of this data?

Satellite redefines edge infrastructure

While edge computing has been defined as a way to streamline the flow of traffic from IoT devices, British expert JP Hemingway of SES Networks confesses “my definition of the edge is maybe a little different to what we usually think of.”

He believes edge computing is the delivery of high quality online experiences to people in all locations — from rural Africa to Latin America. By placing satellite cell towers and supporting innovation in shared infrastructure, he believes that satellite could be the key to rolling out consistent user experiences to “even the edge of the network.”

For Hemingway, making satellite technology the vehicle to deliver edge infrastructure is how we’ll create a truly connected world.

A 50/50 gender split will change more than you think

Alongside these big tech questions, championing the drive for a gender diverse tech ecosystem has been high on the agenda. The goal, states GSMA’s Chief Strategy Officer Laxmi, is for all tech-focussed ventures to have a 50/50 gender split — a ratio that in turn, she says, ensures a company’s success alongside wider cultural change where more women naturally join the company.

BBC presenter Sasha Twining pointed out that recent research has shown that venture capitalists often invest in people most similar to them. In other words, if you don’t have women in the VC space, you won’t get women running the next big innovative company.

GSMA is the British company that built MWC from the ground up and represents the worldwide mobile industry. The organisation has a 51% female workforce in offices around the globe.

Stay tuned for the next installment on the British presence at MWC. To connect with innovative British companies at the event, visit stand 7B41 or click here to learn more about the UK technology landscape and its range of potential partners for your organisation.

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