5G and foldable smartphones go big at MWC 2019

From CNET: Samsung and the MWC Barcelona conference have long had an up-and-down relationship. The energy at the trade show has ebbed and flowed depending on whether the world's largest handset maker decides to hold its big first-half phone launch in Spain. If Samsung shows up, there's a noticeable perk in interest.

On Wednesday, just days before this year's MWC kicks off, Samsung debuted its Galaxy S10 lineup and its Galaxy Fold. In San Francisco.

You'd think this would take the wind out of the MWC sails. But between the mix of unique new devices, some international intrigue and, of course, 5G, the show has a good shot of standing on its own without Samsung. MWC traditionally offers you a window into what the smartphone world will look like over the next year. But with 5G, you could be seeing the foundation for how things evolve over the next few years.

"This will be the most consequential MWC since the launch of 4G," said Wayne Lam, an analyst at HIS Markit.

Where CES in January offered a modest tease of what 5G would look like, MWC will be the proper launch of the next-generation cellular technology. After years of hype that 5G will change our lives by connecting everything to a super-fast and super-responsive network, some of the deployments are actually going live.

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