GSMA expects 80K visitors to attend MWC23
This year’s Mobile World Congress will revolve around the central theme of velocity.
Within this scope, the five main pillars on which this year’s edition of the world’s largest mobile technology trade show will hang will be 5G acceleration, reality+, fintech, OpenNet, and digital everything.
For Mats Granryd, director general of the MWC’s organizing company GSMA, explained at the presentation of this year’s event that mobile technology has been a “great enabler” for other industries, allowing possibilities to grow exponentially.
Around half of the visitors at last year’s edition of the tech show came from industries adjacent to mobile, showing the widening scope of the technology and the advancements in this field. The Mobile World Congress in 2023 is “truly going beyond mobile,” as Lara Dewar, Chief Marketing Officers of the GSMA, stated on Thursday morning.
This year’s five central topics – 5G acceleration, reality+, fintech, OpenNet, and digital everything – shows the broadening scope of the MWC event that comes each February-March to the Catalan capital, as these five distinct areas show how much of the world around us is adapting to the mobile revolution and refreshing itself in the context of new possibilities.
Climate was one area that organizers were keen to point out can benefit from this technological revolution – CO2 emissions can be reduced with the smart use of technology, and climate will feature in many sessions at this year’s event. In parallel, organizers celebrated that MWC is the world’s largest carbon neutral trade show, and explained that the event is working with local organizations to lessen the food waste that the event produces.
Through roundtables, discussions, and exhibitors, this year’s Mobile World Congress hopes to address the challenge of the usage gap of mobile technology around the world. Organizers explained that some 3.6 billion people across the globe are not using mobile internet, be it through a lack of access, affordability, or skills, three things that disproportionately affects poorer demographics and women.
As such, velocity will be the theme of the 2023 Mobile World Congress. Some 300 thought leaders, speakers, and visionaries will come to Barcelona in late February to share their ideas and understanding of 5G acceleration, reality+, fintech, OpenNet, and digital everything.
More than 2,000 exhibitors currently set to join the event as well, with Chinese firm Huawei expanding their floor space by 50% to become the largest single presence at the event this year. Also featuring will be major players from technology and many other fields, such as Samsung, Ericsson, android, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, Airbus, JP Morgan, Dow Jones, and BCG.
A ministerial program will also gather policymakers to the event, offering the perfect opportunity to bring industry leaders and powerful politicians together in the same room, to share knowledge and debate issues such as consumer privacy, data powered humanitarian impact, the metaverse, 5G expansion, spectrum policy, and digital inclusion.
This year, some 80,000 visitors are expected to come to the Mobile World Congress, representing a strong return after the pandemic, but not quite reaching the same levels.
Organizers were keen to play down the importance of the overall number of visitors and highlight the quality of visitor, which a strong presence of C-level officials from companies around the world.
Catalonia will see a projected economic impact of around €350 million at this year’s event, a figure that will only be able to be confidently estimated after the fact, while providing around 7,400 part-time jobs in the Barcelona area according to the organizers.
Startups and side events
As ever, the Mobile World Congress can act as an incubator for emerging ideas and companies. The section 4YFN – four years from now – is MWC’s startup arena, which this year will be given an entire hall all to itself, featuring more than 700 companies.
The MWC also features an investor program which can be the opportunity to bring many of these burgeoning startups to their full potential. Some 1,000 international investors will be present, to whom ideas in the fields of digital health, education technology, frontier tech, green tech, and mobility can be pitched.
Beat Barcelona, the MWC’s very own “after work” space, returns this year for a second edition after last year’s success. Featuring musicians, artists, and DJs linked with major music events such as Sónar, Cruïlla, and Mira festivals, Beat Barcelona will provide the perfect networking and entertainment opportunity at the end of a long day.
Also present will be a “culinary experience” as GSMA CEO John Hoffman put it, with catering provided from none other than the Roca brothers, some of Catalonia’s most celebrated chefs, who are also behind one of the planet’s best restaurants, Celler de Can Roca.
The Meet & Eat, organized in conjunction with the L’Hospitalet council, will also be a place to find friends, grow your network, and enjoy the local culture, all through the use of VR headsets offering a digital tour. CatalanNews
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