The 12th edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) broke all the previous records and registered its best edition to date. 108,000 visitors from 208 countries attended the world’s largest event of the mobile-phone related industry, 7% more than last year’s edition. 55% of them were senior executives, including 6,100 CEOs. The number of women has grown noticeably in comparison to last edition; in particular, 23% of those who passed through the fair’s two main venues, at L’Hospitalet Gran Via and Fira de Montjuic, were women, 14% more than in 2016. According to data released this Thursday by the event’s organiser GSMA, Barcelona’s community has benefited greatly from the creation of over 13,200 temporary jobs and close to €465 million in increased revenue. Last year, GSMA CEO John Hoffmann confirmed that the MWC will stay in Barcelona until 2023 maintaining the city’s reputation as a mobile centre of Europe. The 2018 edition will take place between the 26th of February and the 1st of March.

The 2,300 international companies spanned nine halls and eleven outdoor spaces went beyond just the mobile phone industry, including firms from the automotive, financial and health sectors, presented their novelties at the fair.Everything from connected cars, virtual reality, new handsets and ingenious app ideas, to 3D printing, privacy protection and backend solutions were on display.

Visitors also explored GSMA Innovation City and experienced immersive demonstrations of the most cutting-edge mobile-enabled products and services in the world today. Mobile-connected products and services were showcased in NEXTech Hall 8.0.

This year, the surface area totalled 115,000 square metres in the main venue, at L’Hospitalet Gran Via Fira, and 50,000 more at Fira de Montjuic, where parallel activities such as start-up sections ‘4 Years From Now’ (‘4YFN) and Youth Mobile Festival (YoMo) were located.

“The most successful edition yet”
“MWC 2017 has reinforced its position as the most important event in the sector of mobile communications”, said GSMA CEO, John Hoffman. He considered this edition “the greatest and most successful to date” and thanked the Spanish, Catalan and local authorities. According to Hoffman, this edition’s motto ‘Mobile: The Next Element’ emphasised “the important role that the mobile sector plays in millions of people’s lives worldwide”. “Once again, we had the chance to attend outstanding conferences carried out by the sector’s main personalities and get to discover the technologies, products and initiatives which will define the industry’s path in the coming years”, he said.

Women4Tech and YoMo, the main new sections
Women and those between 10 and 16 years old were some of this edition of the MWC’s new targets. The Youth Mobile Festival welcomed more than 11,000 schoolchildren between 10 and 16 years olds to one huge showcase of science and technology. This educational event taught kids about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Design/Art and Math (STEAM), with the hope of encouraging them to pursue careers that will lead them to the mobile industry. YoMo is an event of the Mobile World Congress held in collaboration with Mobile World Capital.

Over the four days, the Women4Tech programme provided a global platform for attendees to focus specifically on increasing the inclusion of women in the mobile industry and showcasing best practices for female leadership. Women4Tech supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality).

Mobile World Congress Americas will debut in September
From the 12th to the 14th of September, the fair will land for the first time in the United States. San Francisco expects to attract nearly 30,000 professionals and 1,000 exhibitors from across the mobile industry and related industry sectors. Under the theme “The Tech Element”, it will highlight innovation in areas such as 5G and next-generation networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the intersection of mobile with entertainment, content and media. Participating in MWC Americas will position your organisation as leader in the region, or help you launch your brand in the exciting Americas market.

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