It’s been a huge week of news and announcements from Barcelona as Mobile World Congress 2019 got underway – with a swathe of new 5G smartphones and devices, innovative developments in the Internet of Things, and more happening in VR and autonomous vehicles than ever before.

What new phones did we see at MWC?

Arguably the biggest announcement of MWC 2019 happened just before the show kicked off, with Samsung unveiling its feature-packed Galaxy S10 range of smartphones. Samsung also teased its upcoming Galaxy S10 5G, which we’ll be offering to our customers when it launches in Australia later this year.

LG took the covers off its upcoming V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone, and Oppo told the world that it, too, would be launching a 5G smartphone later this year. We announced partnership agreements with both of these companies – part of our commitment to lead on 5G. We’re also bringing out the HTC 5G Hub as our first 5G mobile broadband device, and we’re very excited for what it will bring.

MWC is always busy, and this year was no different – there were dozens of announcement and launches of new flagship smartphones like the super-luxe Samsung Galaxy Fold. On the other hand, we also saw a phone designed to keep you off the internet, away from notifications and distractions during your day-to-day life – so there was something for everyone.

More than that, we’re seeing more laptops and tablets connecting directly to our mobile networks, and we’ve just partnered with Microsoft to make that process even easier. From this week, you’ll be able to connect your Windows 10 PC with eSIM directly to our mobile network through the Mobile Plans app in Windows – no SIM card required.

What else was big at MWC this year?

5G was the big buzz-word of MWC 2019 – and rightly so, for the potential it has to transform the way we live and do business. We’re working with the Commonwealth Bank and Ericsson to trial the future of banking, using 5G and edge computing technologies together to build a high-tech banking experience that works faster and more effectively for you.

Folding phones and screens were all anyone was talking about outside of 5G, and Samsung and Huawei made waves with the Galaxy Fold and Mate X. We’re still in early days and these examples show what we might be seeing when folding phones hit the market – slim portable gadgets that fold out into larger tablets for productivity. The Nubia Alpha used a flexible display for a wrap-around wrist-phone, showing the potential of this new wave of folding screens.

New developments in the Internet of Things are always exciting for the improvements they can make in the backgrounds of our lives. We announced a new trial in Western Australia that could save water and money for both business and consumers, and we’re switching on a new IoT capability that lets global businesses access their IoT sensors and devices anywhere in the world.

Microsoft’s Hololens 2 was the clear stand-out in the VR/AR arena at MWC, but there’s even more high-tech potential for coming from 5G powering augmented and virtual reality headsets using Qualcomm’s latest smartphone chips. 5G is going to let you cut the cord with virtual reality, so get ready for some exciting new VR developments you might use on your commute or in the office.

Smart mobility is the next big frontier for the automotive industry, and we saw some exciting concepts from companies like BMW at MWC this year. BMW’s Natural Interaction prototype uses gesture control, voice recognition and gaze tracking to understand what you want to do in your car without pressing a button. Smart, wireless sensing of pedestrians and nearby vehicles is also maturing; we’re running our own trials in Victoria with Lexus of a full suite of 4G- and 5G-connected Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology.