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The Mobile World Congress ends with record attendance

This year’s edition of the world’s leading congress on cell phone technology, which was celebrated in Barcelona for the 6th consecutive year, had 20% more visitors than in 2010. More than 60,000 people attended the congress.

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17 February 2011 10:27 PM

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ACN / Jordi Pueyo

Barcelona (ACN).- The 2011 Mobile World Congress has been a success. More than 60,000 people surpassed the organisation\u2019s expectation to reach between 50,000 and 55,000 attendees. This figure means 20% more attendees than last year\u2019s, according to the organising association, the GSMA. In addition, 51% of the attendees were high executives, 3,000 of them CEOs. The organisers think that the event\u2019s success is due to the increasing importance of mobile phones in all sectors of society, \u201CThe record attendance at this year\u2019s Mobile World Congress is indicative of the impact and importance of mobile in not only technology and telecommunications, but across nearly all facets of the private and public sectors,\u201D stated John Hoffman, GSMA CEO. 1, 400 exhibitors, 58,600 square metres of showroom and more than 2,900 registered journalists are other figures of this edition. On the technological aspect, applications and tablets dominated the congress. Among the main speakers there were CEOs, Chairmans and General directors of Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Twitter, Chinamobile, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, among many others. GSMA valued very positively the local organisation and thanked Fira de Barcelona (Barcelona\u2019s Trade Fair), the city and the public administrations involved. GSMA affirmed to be looking forward for 2012 edition in Barcelona. The organising city for the next five editions, from 2013 onwards, is to be decided, as the current contract ends in 2012. Barcelona is well placed to renew the engagement, but other cities as well.


According to GSMA Ltd., the organising association of the congress, more than 60,000 people attended the Mobile World Congress. GSMA is a large association with headquarters in London, which includes more than 800 mobile operators and 200 other companies of the mobile phone industry, present in 219 countries. The 2011 visitors figure includes visitors, delegates, companies\u2019 staff, contractors and journalists. They all congregated in the Fira de Barcelona\u2019s Montjuïch space. Barcelona became the world\u2019s capital of the mobile phone industry for four days. According to GSMA Ltd., 51% of the attendees were high executives, \u201CC-level positions\u201D, from the industry; 3,000 of which were CEOs.

The 2011 edition congregated 1,400 exhibitors, distributed in more than 58,600 square metres of useful space to show their products and have business meetings. In addition, more than 2,900 media, including print, on-line, radios and TVs, covered the congress and informed about the news generated.

The largest world event on mobile phones

Walking around the Mobile World Congress (MWC), one could conclude that mobile phones can make almost everything. An application from a Hawaiian company focuses on preventive medicine. Through medical information asked to the user and the support of several studies, it sends a piece of advice to the user such as \u201Cwith your previous records, you should check your cholesterol levels\u201D. Also from the United States, the wireless mobile chargers arrive, which are available for the most common \u2018smartphones\u2019. Another surprise was a Japanese application that predicts the weather by \u201Cobserving\u201D the sky with the mobile phone device. In fact, applications\u2019 business has been one of the main attractions of the congress and one of the future pillars of the industry.

The MWC brought together the main companies of the mobile phone industry, as well as its top executives. Some of them delivered keynote speeches or participated in conferences and debates on very diverse issues, such as applications, payments, health, \u2018cloud computing, telecommunications networks, social networks, among others. Among the top speakers there were Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO; Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO; or, Erich Schmidt, Google CEO. Ballmer talked about the latest regarding the new Windows Phone. He also made visible the strategic alliance between Microsoft and Nokia, together with the Finnish company\u2019s CEO, Stephen Elop. Costolo, among many other issues, announced that Twitter would be translated into Catalan as well. Schmidt stated that thanks to the mobile phones \u201Cwe will never forget anything, never be lost, and never be alone\u201D. Google CEO also affirmed that \u201Che adored\u201D Twitter, a week after going public with the news that his company could be interested in buying the social network.

The \u2018App Planet\u2019, the MWC space congregating the \u2018planet of the applications\u2019, had more than 45,000 visits. In this zone they wanted to agglutinate all the ecosystem of mobile software, with small companies and also big names such as HP, Microsoft, Nokia or Samsung, among many others. Among the companies present in the \u2018App Planet\u2019, some were from Catalonia. One in particular presented an application capable to detect if a product from a concrete brand is original or if it is fake.

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  • One of the entrances to the Applications' Planet at the Mobile World Congress (by J. Pueyo)

  • One of the entrances to the Applications' Planet at the Mobile World Congress (by J. Pueyo)