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Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona with top companies presenting new products

The major players in the cell-phone-related industries such as Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and Google are currently presenting their new products in Barcelona, consolidating the city’s position as a true meeting point for the sector. For the 10th consecutive year, the biggest event in the world of mobile industries kicked off in the Catalan capital on Monday. The 2015 Mobile World Congress, organised by GSMA, will be in Barcelona until Thursday, breaking all records during this time. 90,000 attendees are expected from 201 different countries, representing more than 2,000 companies distributed across more than 100,000 square metres at Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue. Furthermore, the event has raised the attention of the world's main media and trade publications, with more than 4,000 accredited journalists in attendance at this year’s edition. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Vice President, Sundar Pichai, were Monday's main speakers.

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02 March 2015 09:47 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The major players in the cell-phone-related industries such as Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, HTC and Google are currently presenting their new products in Barcelona, consolidating the city’s position as a true meeting point for the sector. For the 10th consecutive year, the biggest event in the world mobile technology and related industries kicked off in the Catalan capital on Monday. The 2015 Mobile World Congress, organised by GSMA, will be in the Catalan capital until Thursday, breaking all records during this time. 90,000 attendees are expected from 201 different countries, representing more than 2,000 companies distributed across more than 100,000 square metres at Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue, in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. Furthermore, the event has raised the attention of the world's main media and trade publications, with more than 4,000 accredited journalists in attendance at this year’s editon. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Vice President, Sundar Pichai, were Monday's main speakers. The King of Spain, Felipe VI, opened the congress on Monday morning, together with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas.


This year, the world's major companies in the mobile and cell-phone industries have come to Barcelona with exclusive news and products to be unveiled for the first time. This trend was already noticeable in past editions, but this year there has been a great avalanche of world premieres and top news, particularly on the congress' first day (Monday) and even during the day before. 

Big announcements and presentations at world level 

On Sunday, Samsung and HTC presented their new products: the new Galaxy S6 and HTC's One M9. Huawei, Vodafone, Nokia, Alcatel, Mozilla, Telefónica and Acer also organised events and presentations the evening before the congress' kick-off.

On Monday, Sony presented the Xperia Z4, the thinnest tablet on the world market, Microsoft launched the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL, Ford presented a smart electric bicycle and Seat announced an agreement with Samsung to connect their cars.

Besides the presenting of new products, on the event's first official day, Google's Vice President, in charge of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai, announced in Barcelona that the American multinational will start competing with paying telephone providers by launching its own payment service. In addition, Facebook CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, explained the company's plans to bring the internet to developing countries and become a social network used across the entire globe. "We want to connect the other half of the planet", stated Zuckerberg.

Welcome dinner on Sunday

In addition, on Sunday, King Felipe chaired a welcome dinner for the congress' organisers and representatives of the main companies attending the MWC at Barcelona's Palau Reial, in Diagonal Avenue. Felipe stressed the "close and loyal co-operation" between different public administrations and government levels to facilitate the organisation of this event in the Catalan capital.

The meal was also attended by the Catalan President, who emphasised the economic recovery after years of austerity measures and budget. "We have learned how to do more things with less [resources]", he stated. He also underlined Barcelona's business-friendly attitude, being the capital city of Catalonia, "the most open economy in southern Europe". Finally, Mas also stressed how Catalonia combines "a long history, a strong feeling of identity, high immigration levels and a modern economy", which are assets in developing an innovative spirit and an open attitude.

Barcelona, full house

The week of the MWC Barcelona is taken over by a legion of high-tech corporate executives from throughout the world. 90,000 people are expected to attend the congress, most of them coming from abroad. Hotels in Barcelona city centre are completely full and those in nearby districts and towns have a 95% occupancy rate on average. Furthermore, thousands of tourist apartments have been rented. Restaurants are also profiting from the high number of visitors arriving because of the MWC. The City Council has strengthened public transportation connecting the trade fair venues with the city centre and the airport. Taxi drivers are also particularly busy these days, despite many companies bringing corporate cars to transport their executives. It is expected that the event will bring in some €436 million for the local economy.

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  • Huawei's stand at 2015 Mobile World Congress, taking place in Barcelona (by M. Fernández)

  • Huawei's stand at 2015 Mobile World Congress, taking place in Barcelona (by M. Fernández)