MWC: What’s all the hubbub at Qualcomm? The AI Hub, of course

  • The buzz at Qualcomm’s MWC booth includes AI, 5G and Wi-Fi

  • The tech behemoth is the ultimate marketing machine and you can bet it’s going to be shouting about everything AI this week

  • The world is still waiting for 5G to take the world by storm, so why not invite developers to help ignite it?

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA – Getting the eyes and ears of developers is all the rage these days, and Qualcomm has been doing it for a very long time, so it’s no surprise that it’s courting them with a new Qualcomm AI Hub.

The hub features a library of 75+ pre-optimized AI models for deployment on devices powered by Snapdragon and Qualcomm platforms.

Qualcomm’s mission is to bring computing to all kinds of devices at the edge, and those devices include smartphones, PCs, IoT, cars, Wi-Fi access points, cellular infrastructure and more. AI and energy efficient processing are also part of the picture.

The story begins with AI, in particular with “on-device AI,” which improves privacy because everything is contained on the device, according to Ignacio Contreras, senior director of product marketing at Qualcomm.

The commercialization of “on-device AI” is already underway, with the first wave of devices using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which was announced last October. The Samsung Galaxy S24 series is one example, but there are other phones from Xiaomi, Oppo and more that have launched in China and more are coming here at MWC in Barcelona.

The AI Hub is a central location for AI developers to access resources aimed at running AI workloads on Snapdragon and Qualcomm platforms. It contains a library of AI models that developers can use in their upcoming applications, Contreras said during a media briefing.

Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband

On the connectivity front, Qualcomm unveiled the FastConnect 7900 Mobile Connectivity system, which it says is the first to deliver AI-optimized performance and integrated Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband technologies in a single chip.

Using AI, FastConnect 7900 adapts to specific use cases and environments for “meaningful optimizations across power consumption, network latency and throughput,” according to Qualcomm.

It follows on the introduction of the first Wi-Fi 7 chip for devices that Qualcomm announced at MWC two years ago. With FastConnect 7900, they’re bringing the first AI-enhanced Wi-Fi system with Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband capabilities, allowing for more proximity capabilities in a new generation of devices, he said.


In 5G infrastructure, Qualcomm is showcasing three AI-based enhancements for network management, including a generative AI assistant for radio access network (RAN) engineers to simplify network and slice management tasks, an AI-based open RAN application (rApp) that reduces network energy consumption and an AI-based 5G network slice life cycle management suite.

During Qualcomm’s most recent quarterly earnings call, CEO Cristiano Amon said the company believes that as on-device generative AI (GenAI) becomes pervasive, it will create one of the most significant changes in user experience, similar to the transition from the feature phone to the smartphone.


Telco industry awaits deus ex machina moment

If that’s the case, MWC 2024 just might provide some additional insights into exactly how that’s going to transpire. Hang onto your hats. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Follow our coverage of Mobile World Congress 2024 in our dedicated channel here.