By Cyber Era NG Special Correspondent in Barcelona
The GSMA is celebrating a vibrant and dynamic edition of MWC Barcelona and there was no doubt it was the place to do business. The world’s largest and most influential connectivity event hosted over 61,000 attendees from almost 200 countries. It was the centre of discussion and debate, the place where leaders in the mobile ecosystem continued charting the future to achieve the full potential of technology.
“Nothing beats MWC in person, and it was exciting to bring our community – which is so passionate about connectivity – back together to discuss the opportunities that lie ahead.” CEO GSMA Ltd. John Hoffman said. “On behalf of the GSMA, I would like to thank all of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and partners who came together to make MWC22 so productive, safe, and successful. I also want to thank Barcelona City Council, Generalitat de Catalunya, the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation, Fira de Barcelona, Tourism de Barcelona (the Host City Parties), the L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Mobile World Capital, and the people of Catalonia and Spain. Your support is unwavering, and your creativity, hospitality, and perseverance continually inspire us.”
Over four days, more than 1,900 companies joined MWC22 Barcelona to showcase the role of mobile technology in unleashing connectivity, exploring 5G Connect sponsored by Salesforce, Advancing AI, Internet of Everything, CloudNet by Kyndryl, FinTech, and the Tech Horizon.
Thought leadership from entrepreneurs, government ministers, and extraordinary people pushing the boundaries of our imaginations spoke from stages across the event. From traditional industries to award-winning filmmakers speakers challenged and inspired attendees to think about new ways of leveraging technology.
Vertical collaboration, startup innovation, and much more at MWC22
Again this year, the Ministerial Programme at MWC was the centre of global digital policy debate. With more than 160 delegations from countries and international institutions around the world, policymakers, regulators, industry leaders, and the international development community exchanged experiences and views on how to build policies for a digital world, maximise the potential of 5G, close the digital gap, and meet global climate targets. As the world becomes increasingly digital, there was broad agreement that we need more collaboration and cooperation amongst all stakeholders to expand digital inclusion for all. This year, leaders like Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman of the US FCC, and Minister Paula Ingabire of Rwanda not only contributed to the conversation in the Ministerial Programme, but brought their policy priorities to the MWC keynote stage.
All-new for this year’s edition, Industry City, co-delivered with Knowledge Partner Accenture showcased demos from the FinTech, Manufacturing, and Automotive sectors. With a buzz of activity, Industry City was a must-see space at the event. Visitors had the opportunity to experience a range of Summits covering robotics and smart mobility topics through interactive metaverse tours and demonstrations from partners and the GSMA Foundry programme.
Focus on the local entrepreneurial startup community returned with the 4YFN (Four Years from Now) programme – supported by platinum sponsor BStartup Banco Sabadell – as it welcomed over 500 international startups and over 300 speakers to share insights on how to drive the ecosystem forward. Competing for more than €24 billion(US$26.2billion) of investment, 200 startups pitched to leading funds, VCs, and CVCs during the event.
MWC22 by the numbers
- Over 61,000 unique people attended in person
- Around 500,000 unique virtual and daily viewers on MWC22 and partner platforms
- Representation from almost 200 countries and territories
- Over 1,900 exhibitors, sponsors, and partners
- Over 1,000 speakers, 97 per cent in person and 36 per cent women
- More than 50 per cent of attendees were Directors and C-Suite executives, 20 per cent were CEOs and founders, 25 per cent were women
- Millions tuned into MWC22 Barcelona content via Mobile World Live global syndication and official national and international broadcasters.
- More than 1,600 international journalists were onsite
“The momentum leading into MWC22 was palpable, and it delivered,” said Director- General, GSMA, Mats Granryd. “In the spirit of our theme ‘Connectivity Unleashed’, we saw how industries were going beyond simple connectivity to deliver meaningful connectivity, deploying technology in ground-breaking ways that will shape industry and society. I thank every person who helped make MWC Barcelona 2022 an unmissable event – and as we move to a ‘digital everything’ world, I look forward to seeing what we achieve next year!”
MWC22 was covered by Mobile World Live, CNBC, Euronews, Financial Times, TIME, The Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group, and more than 1,600 international journalists. Featured Media Partners include C114, Insider Intelligence, Radio + Television Business Report, Technology Record, and TeleSemana. A huge thank you to all our MWC22 partners and sponsors. Your collaboration and support contributed significantly to the buzz and excitement of being together at this time.
Local initiatives like, Meet and Eat and Beat Barcelona showcased the best of the city. A preliminary economic analysis indicated that MWC will have contributed more than €240 million to Barcelona’s economy and created more than 6,700 part-time jobs in 2022. And once again, MWC was a carbon-neutral event.
Looking to the future
Following a successful MWC22 Barcelona, the GSMA is working hard to deliver the full MWC series in 2022. The next event, MWC Shanghai, will take place from 29th June – 1st July, followed by the inaugural MWC Las Vegas from 28th-30th September and rounded off by MWC Africa from 25-27th October – which will return in person to Kigali for the first time since 2019.
As the mobile industry gathered this week at MWC22, our thoughts have been with those suffering hardship and loss. Businesses, governments, and individuals alike are wrestling with meaningful ways to help, even as the conflict continues to escalate. Many of our members are responding by facilitating communication with loved ones and by addressing humanitarian needs.