Between the 24th and the 27th of February, Barcelona will play host to the world’s premier mobile event: The GSMA Mobile World Congress. The MWC is the leading trade show in the mobile industry, combining an extensive conference programme with the world’s largest exhibition for the industry. Barcelona, the GSMA’s Mobile World Capital, has hosted the event since 2006, and will continue to do so until at least 2018.
Last year’s Mobile World Congress at Fira Gran Via attracted record-breaking numbers of both exhibitors and visitors. Over 1,700 exhibitors showcased their products and services and more than 72,000 people from over 200 different countries visited the event. The congress contributed more than 320 million Euros to the local economy. This year the event is expected to be even bigger.
With the theme for the MWC 2014 titled ‘Creating What’s Next’, this year’s Congress “will highlight the most significant innovations and advances in mobile, providing a blueprint for the future,” says Michael O’Hara, GSMA’s chief marketing officer. At the exhibition, almost every major mobile phone company will be showcasing their new models, including Nokia, HTC, LG, Sony and Google. Bigger displays and bendable screens will be among the technology on show. Samsung are set to host their own dedicated event on February 24th named ‘Unpacked 5’, where it’s rumoured that their new flagship Galaxy S 5 smartphone will be one of the most eagerly-awaited unveilings at the exhibition. Also on the show floor will be the GSMA Connected City, providing attendees with the opportunity to visit a virtual future city and see how mobile is changing our lives.
The packed four-day conference programme includes ten keynote speeches from leading figures in the industry, a wide-ranging selection of presentations and six daily networking breaks. Facebook founder, CEO and chairman Mark Zuckerberg is one of the big names lined up to make a keynote speech. His address alongside technology journalist David Kirkpatrick will open the show and “explore the importance of extending the benefits of ubiquitous Internet access to the unconnected world.”