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  • Sarah-Jayne Gratton

Vodafone at MWC19 – Sharing the Power of 'Enabling Through Connectivity'

I’m still catching my breath from all the incredible innovation showcases at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) where I was excited to be covering the many impressive reveals from the Vodafone Group.



From 5G enabled musical collaboration to an IoT powered vineyard (more on this to come in a future post) plus immersive mixed reality gaming, the fun factor was certainly dialled up to the max in the Vodafone booth at this year's MWC.


But, for me, the real message from Vodafone this year was one of far more than just entertainment. It centres on the power of ‘enabling’ through the breaking down of barriers and by allowing global connectivity to open both doors and minds.

The real message from Vodafone at this year's MWC was one of far more than just entertainment. 

Vodafone’s success in this arena is due, in no small part, to their willingness to delve deep into the global issues that matter. Perhaps one of the most poignant examples of this is their #ConnectedSheCan campaign, where Vodafone is steadily closing the mobile gender gap by connecting as many women as possible. 



The group are closing in on 15 million women, which is no mean feat, and has resulted in countless lives being transformed for the better. Programmes, such as ‘Mum & Baby,’ which offers SMS messages and health advice for post-natal women in remote parts of South Africa and ‘Sakhi,’ a mobile app fighting women’s harassment and sexual violence in India are, quite literally, life-changing examples of technology that enables.

“When people ask why I joined Vodafone Group, this sums up many of the reasons” ~Fiona Graham, Digital Communications News Editor, Vodafone Group.

And I have to agree that much of Vodafone’s work in this area strikes an emotional chord.

But there’s another subject showcased by Vodafone at this year's MWC that's very close to my heart, which is medicine and the future of healthcare. Here again, Vodafone are showing us that connectivity will be a key driver in this sector's evolution.


The group’s ground-breaking use of The “5G Remote Surgeon” pilot, developed in collaboration with the AIS Channel, the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, and Mobile World Capital, on behalf of 5G Barcelona, enables an expert surgeon to guide a mentored surgeon in real-time without being physically present. 


Sounds like something from a science fiction movie doesn’t it?  But, it’s real and it’s happening now!



The technology combines 5G technology by Vodafone with Surgical telestration software developed by AIS Channel. The pilot itself was carried out in a cutting-edge, digital operating room in the Clinic Hospital of Barcelona. 


5G innovation makes such cutting-edge surgical technology possible. It does this by reducing latency to less than 0.01 seconds and heightening image definition to allow for remote surgical instruction to be effectively relayed between leading surgeons and their students.



Ultimately Vodafone say “the ‘5G Remote Surgeon’ technology will catalyse the spread of medical knowledge and radically change the speed and quality of medical education around the world.”


That’s definitely worth raising a glass of IoT enabled wine to don't you think?