GSMA wraps up another successful Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

01 March 2019

MWC19 Intelligent Connectivity core themes

MWC Barcelona (formerly Mobile World Congress), the world's largest mobile event, brings together the latest innovations & leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 companies with a highly-rated conference programme assembling today’s visionaries to explore the hottest topics influencing the industry.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Intelligent Connectivity’ – the term MWC19 used to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. Intelligent connectivity marks the beginning of a new era defined by highly contextualised and personalised experiences, delivered when and where you want them. This is the future of the mobile industry and our world.

Within Intelligent Connectivity, MWC19 developed 8 core themes around which content for this year’s event was focused:

•    Connectivity
•    AI
•    Industry 4.0
•    Immersive Content
•    Disruptive Innovation
•    Digital Wellness
•    Digital Trust
•    The Future

GSMA reported that more than 109,000 visitors from 198 countries and territories attended MWC19 Barcelona. More than 55% of attendees held senior-level positions, including over 7,900 CEOs. There were 3,640 international media and industry analysts at the event to report on the many significant industry announcements. Preliminary independent economic analysis indicates that MWC19 will have contributed approximately €473 million and more than 14,000 part-time jobs to the local economy.

“Today we celebrate another highly successful MWC Barcelona, which brought together attendees, governments and regulators across the global ecosystem, spanning multiple sectors and reflecting the expanding role of mobile connectivity,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA. “With the theme of ‘Intelligent Connectivity’, 5G was front and centre at MWC19, and it was exciting to see a glimpse of that new world, with 5G-enabled handsets launched, new products and services, and even the first demonstration of live tele-monitored surgery over 5G technology. The mobile industry continues to make strong progress with 5G, and MWC Barcelona continues to showcase the best and most creative elements of our connected world.”

MWC Conference: Intelligent Connectivity
Over four days, MWC19 highlighted the intersection of ‘hyper-connectivity’, enabled by 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), and ‘intelligence’, delivered by artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. In addition to the core elements of intelligent connectivity, MWC19 explored the key topics of Content, Digital Trust, Digital Wellness and The Future.

Keynote speakers represented organisations including ARM, Cisco, Citi, Daimler and Mercedes Benz, Digital Asset Holdings, Groupon, HTC, Huawei, IOC, KT Corporation, Light, Microsoft, Niantic, Orange Group, Picasso Labs, Rakuten, Singtel, Smart Dubai, Sparrho, United Nations, Universal Music Group, Vimeo and Vodafone Group.

MWC19 Barcelona

Showcasing the future of mobile
As always, MWC showcased the technologies, products and services that are shaping the future of mobile. More than 2,400 companies participated at MWC19 across more than 120,000 net square metres of exhibition and hospitality space at Fira Gran Via, including major brands such as Accenture, Alibaba Cloud, ARM, AT&T, BMW, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Facebook, Google, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, NTT DOCOMO, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Ooredoo, Oracle, Orange, Qualcomm, SAP, SEAT, SK Telecom, Telefónica, Verizon, Vodafone, Xiaomi and ZTE.

GSMA leading the way: 5G live broadcasting
The GSMA’s award-winning video broadcast service, Mobile World Live TV, which provides content throughout MWC, this year marked the first trial of 5G live broadcasting at the event. This year’s broadcasts were supported by Samsung’s 5G network, enabling true seamless transmission with low latency over the entire five days.

The GSMA also introduced BREEZ (Biometric Recognition Easy Entry Zone). Opt-in enrolment to BREEZ allowed contactless entry for attendees, enhancing security and eliminating the need to show ID or have badges scanned in order to enter the event at venue entry points and restricted areas. In its first year, more than 40% of attendees used the service to successfully enter MWC19. 

GSMA Innovation City
The popular GSMA Innovation City was visited by more than a third of MWC attendees, which experienced the mix of 5G, IoT, AI and big data and saw how it is already positively impacting the lives of citizens and businesses around the world. Visitors had the opportunity to experience a number of hands-on demonstrations across a range of diverse sectors including entertainment, transportation, environment and robotics from our partners Google, Huawei, KT Corporation, Sierra Wireless and Turkcell, as well as from GSMA programmes.

NEXTech
In the NEXTech Theatres, the GSMA hosted 40 Programmes by 38 Partners over the four days. The spotlight was on disruptive technologies from virtual reality/augmented reality and robotics, to cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, and more. The Graphene Pavilion was back for the fourth year, showcasing exciting ideas for bringing the benefits of graphene to new applications. Embracing new ideas for innovation and growth, MWC19 again presented the Mobile World Scholar Challenge to highlight new and impactful ideas from the academic and research communities across the globe.

Ministerial Programme: platform for critical policy dialogue
An integral element of MWC Barcelona, the Ministerial Programme offers a unique forum for ministers, regulators, international organisations and CEOs from around the world to discuss key developments and policy trends in the mobile sector. This year’s programme broadenened the traditional policy and regulation discussion, with a new focus on mobile and the emerging digital citizen. The 2019 Ministerial Programme hosted 190 delegations from 150 countries and 40 international organisations, with total attendance exceeding 2,000 delegates.

Innovative and entrepreneurial startups showcased at 4YFN
4 Years from Now (4YFN), one of the most influential start-up event platforms in the world, welcome more than 23,000 attendees in its sixth edition in Barcelona, with sponsors including Banco Sabadell, Airbus, Telefonica and Vueling. The programme included keynotes, panels, fireside chats and start-up competitions, 1:1 start-up mentoring, investor and corporate meetings, pitching competitions, 'pitch the press' sessions, networking activities and more.

MWC19 Intelligent Connectivity

Women4Tech: reducing the gender gap and championing diversity
At MWC Barcelona, the GSMA continued its commitment to increased the number of women at the event, with more than 25,000 female attendees. Additionally 37% of keynote speakers and 27% of all speakers in the conference programme were women. Back for its third year and continuing the commitment to reducing the gender gap in the mobile ecosystem, the GSMA Women4Tech Summit gathered senior leaders to discuss hot topics ranging from finding AI talent to working in a post #MeToo world, among others. New to the Women4Tech Summit was Inside Track, which offered attendees the opportunity to gain critical insights on their own professional skills from a Fortune 500 expert.

YoMo back in Barcelona
The hugely successful Youth Mobile Festival (YoMo) returned to Barcelona for a third year, continuing to inspire young people to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, art/design and maths (STEAM). Over the five days, approximately 25,000 young people aged between 8-18 and educators from around Catalunya, gathered to participate in an array of educational exhibits, live theatre shows, interactive workshops and hands-on activities, as well as educator-focused workshops, lectures and more. More than 50% of the attendees at YoMo were female, helping to address gender equality for future generations and further the GSMA’s commitment to reducing the gender gap in the mobile ecosystem.

Carbon neutral event
In 2017, Mobile World Congress 2016 was officially certified as carbon neutral and Mobile World Congress was recognised by Guinness World Records (GWR) as the world’s largest carbon neutral trade show for the second year in a row. Mobile World Congress 2018 has been recognised again by GWR as the world’s largest carbon neutral trade show. In 2019, the GSMA is continuing to pursue certification of its offices and events and is focused on further reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the event, offsetting any outstanding emissions as necessary.

“On behalf of the GSMA, I would like to thank all of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and partners who came together to make MWC19 so productive and  successful,” concluded Hoffman. “Further, we extend our gratitude to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the city of Barcelona, the city of Hospitalet, Turisme de Barcelona, the Fira de Barcelona and the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation for their ongoing support.”

Get involved at MWC20 Barcelona
MWC20 Barcelona will be held 24-27 February, 2020. More information on MWC Barcelona is available at www.mwcbarcelona.com Follow @GSMAEvents on Twitter for event developments and updates and use #MWC19 to be part of the conversation. You can also find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/showcase/mwcbarcelona/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mobileworldcongress/ Follow @GSMA on Twitter for other GSMA news and activity.

MWC is the cornerstone of the Mobile World Capital, which will be hosted in Barcelona through to 2023. The Mobile World Capital encompasses programmes and activities that span the entire year and will benefit not only the citizens of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, but also the worldwide mobile industry. For more information on the Mobile World Capital, visit www.mobileworldcapital.com


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