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Published on 22 de February, 2017 at SMEs

Why is the Mobile World Congress so important for Barcelona?

By Pol Solà
2 min read

Barcelona will host the largest world mobile tech fair between February the 27th and March the 2nd under the motto of “The Next Element”.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the space where the future of ITC industry is decided. The fair leads to the creation of thousands of jobs, an economic and touristic impact that lasts all year long as well as a huge boost to the start-ups of the city, changing the current productive model towards innovation. According to the Barcelona Tech City association, ITC companies rooted in the city invoice more than 6,000 M€ per year, and employ over 10,000 people. MWC is also boosted by the 4YFN, which mainly hosts technological start-ups, and this year expects to surpass the 12,500 visitors of the 2016 edition.

MWC is organized by  GSM Association (GSMA), which was set up in 1995 to represent the interests of operators and mobile phone companies. That year, GSMA began to organize MWC annually, as well as other specific and events such as the Asia Mobile GSMA Exhibition and the Mobile Monetary GSMA Summit. Since 2006, MWC has taken place in Barcelona, ​​and it will be so until 2023 at least.

MWC brings technology over to citizens

The main new trends hosted by 2016 MWC edition were virtual reality, smartphones innovations, 5G networks which are expected to increase by 1000 times data transfer capacity, Virtual SIM cards, IoT (Internet of Things) and graphene, which came to have a single pavilion. Also notable was the presence of content generators like Netflix or Pokémon Go, and activities with virtual reality widgets, drones, etc.

In addition, the activities organized on the grounds of the MWC are, among others:

  • The Mobile Week, held the week before (February the 20th to the 26th). It offers activities all over the 10 city districts in order to promote social awareness on the digital economy impact and the mobile industry.
  • The Youth Mobile Festival, a meeting within the framework of the MWC to better reach young people and the professional careers, as well as several initiatives promoting digital literacy to cut down the digital divide within the city.

Why is MWC so relevant?

  • Because it marks the pulse of the ICT revolution and its applications to productive systems.
  • Because it hosts the latest news from many companies of the GSMA network and the media impact that this entails.
  • Because it is the opportunity to transfer knowledge between companies from various sectors and between public and private sectors.
  • Because it generates new business models like technologies enabling citizen participation and involvement in public affairs, multimedia content production and high-tech companies as automotive companies applying mobile technology.

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