Telefonica brings €7.8 million and a downtown building to Barcelona’s Mobile World Capital
Barcelona will hold, at least until 2018, the status of being the world’s mobile industry capital. Every year Barcelona hosts the world’s main event in this industry, the Mobile World Congress. This event is part of a broader project: the Mobile World Capital, which plans activities and events throughout the year and works to make Barcelona the greatest business and technological centre of the mobile industry. The Spanish telecommunication giant Telefonica announced it will bring €7.8 million to develop this project. Furthermore, it will allow MWCapital to use 1,800 square metres of a building located in Barcelona’s main square – Plaça Catalunya – to show the latest technological developments.
Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday, Telefonica and Barcelona City Council signed a partnership agreement by which the Spanish telecommunication giant donates \u20AC7.8 million and allows the use of a strategic building for the Mobile World Capital project. Telefonica will allow MWCapital to use 1,800 square metres of the company\u2019s Plaça Calunya building to host the Mobile World Centre. This facility will show the wider public the latest developments of the cell phone and related industries. It will open its doors before the next Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona and is the main trade fair and expert conference at world level for the mobile industries. Furthermore, the MWCapital project works to organise related events through the year, such as the Mobile World Festival and the activities at the Plaça Catalunya centre. It also works to make Barcelona the world\u2019s main hub for the mobile industries in its own right, by fostering related experimental projects to be developed in the city or by placing a regulator authority at world level for these industries in the Catalan capital. At least until 2018, Barcelona will be hosting the Mobile World Congress, which has been organised in the Catalan capital every year since 2006 by GSMA. The next edition will take place between 25th and 28th of February 2013, in the Gran Via venues of Fira de Barcelona.
On Tuesday, the Mayor of Barcelona and President of the Mobile World Capital Foundation, Xavier Trias, and the President of Telefonica, César Alierta, signed, in the Catalan capital, the partnership agreement by which the telecommunications multinational will give \u20AC7.8 million to the project. In addition, the partnership agreement also includes the temporary cession of 1,800 square metres of Telefonica\u2019s Plaça Catalunya building to host the Mobile World Centre. This possibility had already been unveiled in the last GSMA Mobile World Congress and was confirmed by the company a few months later. These projects foster Barcelona\u2019s position as one of the world\u2019s main hubs for the cell phone and related industries.
Barcelona\u2019s Mayor thanked Telefonica for its \u201Cincalculable support\u201D to the Mobile World Capital project. Trias has also emphasised the importance of having the Mobile World Centre located in such a strategic position, at the heart of Barcelona\u2019s downtown, in Plaça Catalunya. Trias also explained that the project does not rule out having another building in Barcelona\u2019s technological district 22@, made up of renewed textile and old machinery factories.
The Mobile World Centre to open its doors in February
The work on Telefonica\u2019s building has already started and it is foreseen that the Mobile World Centre will be able to open its doors before the cell phone industries\u2019 main congress kicks off on 25th February. After the congress, the centre will become a main window and meeting point to know the last developments of the industry. The centre will share the building with a Telefonica shop.
\u201COpen to all companies\u201D
However, Trias emphasised that the Mobile World Capital \u201Cis open to all the companies\u201D. In fact, Trias underlined that \u201Cother companies not only should participate in the project but they have to participate in it\u201D. In addition, César Alierta also stated that he hoped \u201Cto collaborate with other operators\u201D to make the MWCapital project bigger.
Alierta explained that Telefonica\u2019s \u201Cinvolvement\u201D with the project made Barcelona the world capital of the mobile phone and related industries. Alierta explained that the \u20AC7.8 million donated to the project will be used \u201Cto contribute towards fostering entrepreneurship in the sector of mobility technologies and to consolidate existing projects\u201D.