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Barcelona to keep the World Mobile Phone Congress until 2018

The Catalan capital secures this global event despite competition from Paris, Milan and Munich. The economic impact for the entire period of 2013-2018 is estimated at a staggering 3459 million.


25 July 2011 09:27 PM



Barcelona (ACN) - Barcelona has ensured that it will continue to host the World Mobile Phone Congress until 2018, CNA has learned. Although the Catalan capital faced challenges from Paris, Munich and Milan for the title, it has been named the world capital of mobile phones between 2013 and 2018. The congress presents a key business opportunity for manufacturers, entrepreneurs, software designers and international corporations to meet. In February 2011, more than 60,000 people passed through the fair, which served to introduce the latest in tablets, smartphones and mobile applications. The economic impact of the fair is estimated at some 240 million euros, although the figure could reach five times this amount. The economic impact for the entire period of 2013-2018 is estimated at a staggering 3459 million.

Barcelona will become the world capital of the mobile communications industry thanks to the decision taken by the GSMA, the association representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide. It is hoped that this decision will result not only in the hosting of the World Mobile Phone Congress but in the creation of Barcelona as a permanent technological and cultural centre dedicated to promoting the existing industrial base, creating new business opportunities and raising awareness of the potential of mobile communications in the modern age.

"We are thrilled to announce that Barcelona will be the Mobile World Capital for the next seven years," said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, in a press release. "Barcelona truly demonstrated that it deserves the title of the Mobile World Capital, with its combination of outstanding exhibition and conference facilities, its transportation and hospitality infrastructure, its commitment to expanding the reach of mobility throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, and the strong support of the public and private sectors. This is an exciting time for Barcelona and for the mobile industry as a whole."

As the Mobile Phone Capital of the World Barcelona will become the point of reference regarding the use of mobile phones in all spheres of public and professional life. The industrial and technological development that this necessitates will encourage the creation of new highly skilled jobs. In this way this initiative will have a legacy for Catalonia and for Spanish society as a whole. One of the highlights will be the construction of the Mobile World Centre to be located in the city centre.This will become the hub of all of the activities of the Mobile Phone World Capital and the platform from which new technology can be exhibited and distributed. The centre will also contain a museum and a shopping area for the general public. It is also to be the venue for the World Mobile Phone Festival, a promotional trade fair displaying the latest in the leisure and entertainment-related sector. Thus, says the same statement, Barcelona will become the epicentre of global mobile telecommunications, creating a new industrial sector which will advance the applications of mobile technologies.

The process of selecting Barcelona as the MWC began in the summer of 2010 when the GSMA discussed with candidate cities possible joint projects. In late January, after an initial evaluation phase, four cities were chosen to reach the final stage of the selection process: Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Paris. Fira de Barcelona has hosted the annual Mobile World Congress since 2006, when the event moved to the Catalan capital from Cannes (France). During its stay in Barcelona, the show has experienced a progressive growth in all areas recording a ground breaking 60,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors last year representing and increase of 76% and 133% respectively, compared to the last editions of the event which were held in France.


  • The Mobile Phone Congress in Barcelona in 2011 (by ACN)

  • The Mobile Phone Congress in Barcelona in 2011 (by ACN)