So what is it these analysts, whose clients include most of the major handset and mobile network operators in the world, feel will make the biggest splash at MWC this year?
In no particular order, here's what CCS Insight predicts for MWC'17 in (gulp) two weeks' time:
Device announcements will continue unabated, but aside from big splash announcements, will we hear a nail in the coffin for wearables?
CCS Insight says it expects the big announcements to come on the eve of the show at a series of press conferences. Look out for new devices from the likes of Gionee, Huawei, Lenovo (and its Motorola brand), LG, HMD Global (and its Nokia brand), Oppo, ZTE and others. As for wearables, CCS Insight analyst George Jijiashvili put it best recently when he told El Reg that Android Wear's latest wearable is 'not the ground-breaking revamp many were hoping for.' That said, I do still want a Withings Activite watch no matter the haters!
Networks and the IoT will continue to make their presence felt.
5G will (continue to be) a hot topic at Mobile World Congress, as does IoT, but really is it all hype at this point? As the folks at CCS so eloquently put it: 'many of the big companies attending Mobile World Congress have heralded the ascendancy of the so-called Internet of Things, yet their grand statements about embracing this world are starting to look meaningless. In Barcelona this year, the major names must put some edges on their ambitions.'
AI and machine learning now make their presence felt.
We can absolutely expect to see many types of intelligence and analytics-based companies put themselves forward as suppliers who can bring machine learning and artificial intelligence into a niche area for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). CCS says this will not only be in cloud services but also increasingly in networks, Apps and in connected devices themselves.
As for CCgroup, a large contingent will be at the festivities in Fira Gran Via in Barcelona. They currently predict that it ends on Thursday, and Friday will be 'difficult'.