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Four days. As many as 100,000 attendees from 200 countries. And more than 2,200 exhibitors, including Red Hat. This is Mobile World Congress 2017. At the conference, which got its start in 1987 as GSM World Congress before the European telcos had even agreed on what 1G would look like, 5G was one of the hot topics. MWC 2017 attendees were also talking about plenty of other next-gen technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and more. A walk around the show floor and there was plenty to see and do: robots, a massive sculpture created by IBM's Watson using AI, connected cars, VR experiences and much more.

The proposed 5G telecommunications standard, still a work in progress, promises to deliver data rates of tens of Mbps for tens of thousands of users, up to 100 Mbps for metro areas, and even 1Gb per second simultaneously to employees on the same floor in an office. Telcos around the world are modernizing their infrastructures in anticipation of 5G rollouts – and Red Hat is partnering with several of them on these initiatives.

Red Hat also unveiled work with service providers: MyRepublic is using Red Hat open source solutions including Red Hat OpenStack Platform to turn its legacy, proprietary IT environment into an open hybrid cloud and Altice is using  Red Hat OpenStack Platform to build out a virtualized platform based NFV. You can read all about our MWC 2017 announcements – including new and extended partnerships with World Wide Technology (WWT) and Ericsson – in this blog post.

Speaking of Ericsson, it was reported by GlobeNewswire that during a MWC 2017 media and analyst briefing Monday, Feb. 27, Ericsson President and CEO Börje Ekholm pointed to the 5G capabilities Ericsson was showing at the conference. "We are ready today. We have the full ecosystem of partners and customers selecting us to deliver high-performance networks, media solutions, and business models in industries such as transport," Ekholm said, according to GlobeNewsWire. "5G will transform all industries, and our customers are already gearing up for the future by evolving their current 4G networks. This is the key foundation to enable the automation and business transformation needed for the Internet of Things, as well as data-hungry services like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality."

Another of our partners, Hauwei, also made some 5G News. According to the company, it received the ‘Outstanding Contribution for LTE Evolution to 5G' award. In a press release, the company side over the next few years there will be continuous LTE development and 5G innovations, and to prepare it will move ahead with network deployment and industry collaboration.

At MWC 2017, Red Hat showcased six demonstrations, illustrating our commitment to advance innovation in open source and the information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. For example, for network functions virtualization (NFV) we demonstrated how easy it is to prototype a complete scenario for virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) solutions using Ansible and CloudForms. For IoT, we demoed an application that can track high-value cargo in a delivery truck and cull data from a set of sensors via an intelligent gateway to enable reliable data delivery and real-time edge decision-making. We also held a live demo of our Red Hat Mobile Application Platform showing how we can build, deploy and manage a wide range of secure enterprise mobile applications in an efficient, reusable and agile way. You can read more about all our demos in this blog post.

For those that were able to attend MWC 2017, share with us your insights and stories in our comments section below. What'd you see that you liked? What was missing? What were the high points? If you didn't attend, look forward to next years. And in the meantime, start planning for Red Hat Summit 2017 May 2-4 in Boston. It'll be here sooner than we think!

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