The Mobile World Congress, or MWC, has been held at Barcelona for the last ten years. The MWC is one of the more exciting trade shows for mobile devices around the world as many companies use the show, or the attention around it, to showcase and launch their latest products. This year, we effectively saw both HTC and Samsung launch their 2015 flagship models, the HTC One M9 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. However, these three flagship devices are only three amongst a large number of new technologies and devices launched and there are too many to note! According to the MWC, at this year's show there were "over 2,000 exhibiting companies showcasing cutting-edge products." This included handset manufacturers, System-on-Chip businesses plus specialist chipmakers, some of which have subsequently bought by another business. The last MWC also attracted close to 100,000 visitors from 200 countries around the world and preliminary independent economic analysis shows that the 2015 show contributed more than â‚¬436 million and almost 13,000 part-time jobs for the local economy. It would seem that the Mobile World Congress is as good for Barcelona as it is for the industry.
The Mobile World Congress is only one trade show containing mobile technology. Another notable show is the Consumer Electronics Show, held annually at Las Vegas. The CES is not a mobile-only show as it contains the full spectrum of consumer electronics, but as the smartphone has become more and more commonplace so the show has grown in importance. Another show is Computex Taipei, the largest computer show in Asia, where again mobile devices are not the centrepiece of the show but are commonly shown.
The original contract for the MWC to be held at Barcelona was due to expire in 2018, but an announcement today has seen this contract extended by another five years to 2023. The industry association signed an agreement with a group consisting the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Generalitat de Catalunya; Barcelona City Council; Turisme de Barcelona; Fira de Barcelona; and Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation (BMWCF). Given the quality of Barcelona's conference facilities it is perhaps no surprise that the contract was given to the city again. And finally, the date for your diaries for the 2016 Mobile World Congress is from the 22 to the 25 February.