MWC19: What to Expect and What You Should Know

As MWC19 Barcelona approaches, here is what you need to know and to expect from this year's show.

MWC19: What to Expect and What You Should Know
© Susan Fourtané for Interesting Engineering

There is already a lot of expectation in the industry as MWC19 Barcelona (formerly Mobile World Congress) organized by the GSMA quickly approaches. From February 25 to 28 the world-class event will be staged at Fira Gran Via, Fira Montjuic, and La Farga L'Hospitalet in Barcelona, Spain. 

The GSMA is preparing to receive over 107,000 professionals from over 200 countries and territories, representing a wide range of industry sectors. In addition, over 2,400 leading companies from the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industry sectors such as automotive and consumer electronics are going to participate at MWC19 Barcelona. The show floor will also include over 40 country and regional pavilions. 

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This year, the MWC Barcelona's theme is Intelligent Connectivity. The show is going to highlight the intersection of hyper-connectivity, enabled by 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), and intelligence, delivered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data.

"Underpinned by 5G and AI, intelligent connectivity is a major technological force that will shape how the world communicates well into the future," said Michael O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. "Attendees will get to experience the impact of intelligent collectivity firsthand, across the conference and exhibition, and the many programs and events taking place at MWC19 Barcelona." 

In addition, MWC19 is going to explore key topics such as Content, Digital Trust, Digital Wellness, and The Future.  

Rebranding: Goodbye, Mobile World Congress! Hello, MWC! 

Reflecting the evolution in communications beyond mobile, the GSMA has rebranded the annual Barcelona convention. The former Mobile World Congress is now referred to as MWC.

"This marks the first major brand update for our global event portfolio in over a decade," said Michael O'Hara. "We are rapidly moving to a world where mobile will connect everyone and everything, but at the same time, we are expanding our reach beyond mobile. The new brand retains the familiar acronym while placing less emphasis on 'mobile' to reflect the broadening scope of communications today."

The rebranding applies to all flagship event series. The 2019 events are: MWC19 Barcelona, MWC19 Shanghai, and MWC19 Los Angeles. 

Are you ready for MWC19 Barcelona? 

What is in the future of 5G in 2019? 

This year's MWC is anticipated to be packed with a lot of surprises and exciting announcements. To begin with, earlier this year, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri warned investors of sluggish 5G growth in 2019.

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What does this mean for the many technologies waiting for the 5G rollout? Indeed, this is going to be one of the key questions this year during the show. 

The slower pace that 5G growth takes in 2019 is, in part, due to some technical challenges that the industry is still facing and, on the other hand, operators are staggering their rollouts, as Light Reading's Iain Morris reports

Keynote stage 

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft will be speaking together on the keynote stage. In addition, you can expect to see an incredible line-up of over 500 international speakers.  

Innovation City 

Innovation City will put a spotlight on how intelligent connectivity --5G, IoT, AI, and Big Data-- is impacting and improving the lives of citizens, enterprises, and governments across the globe.

Intelligent connectivity can be experienced across a range of sectors including entertainment, transportation, public services, and industry. There will be demonstrations from Google, Huawei, KT Corporation, Sierra Wireless, and Turkcell, among others. 

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NEXTech Hall 8.0 

Here, attendees can find cutting-edge technology trends such as AI, IoT, drones, robotics, and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR). Also, the Drone Zone, the Graphene Pavilion, and the IoT Pavilion are located in this Hall alongside the NEXTech Lab, an open theater where leading industry companies will present their latest innovations

Digital Planet: The connected experience 

Digital Planet is an evolution of App Planet, a mainstay of MWC since 2010. Digital Planet will include over 200 applications, ad tech, e-commerce, and marketing communication solution providers and other organizations.

Digital Planet is going to focus on creating connected experiences and solutions that will positively impact citizens' daily lives. Companies that will be showcased in Digital Planet include Digital Turbine, Infobip, MessageBird, and Toyota among others. 

Women4Tech 

Designed to address and reduce the gender gap in the mobile industry, the Women4Tech Summit is going to have keynote presentations and panel discussions exploring topics such as gender equality and career development, mentoring, and youth education; women in communication and vertical sectors; and women as entrepreneurs and innovators. 

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4YFN: Discover future innovation

4YFN is the innovation platform for MWC. It enables startups, investors, and companies to connect, network, and launch new business ventures together. Over 600 companies will be exhibiting this year including startups from Colombia, Greece, France, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. 

YoMo Festival

The Youth Mobile (YoMo) Festival is expected to receive around 25,000 students and educators this year, including 22,000 school group attendees. This is a dedicated program designed to inspire young people to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math (STEAM)

The YoMo Festival will be held from Tuesday, February 26 through Friday, March 1 at La Farga L'Hospitalet. 

MWC: The World's largest carbon-neutral tradeshow

In 2018, MWC was officially certified as carbon neutral by AENOR International. In 2019, the GSMA is focused on further reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the event by offsetting any outstanding emissions as necessary. 

Through the Donation Room program, MWC exhibitors can donate used and unwanted materials to Barcelona citizens at the end of the event. In 2018, the GSMA collected 21.5 tonnes of building materials and 10 tonnes of furniture items and worked with the city councils of Barcelona and Hospitalet to provide them to more than 20 local socially responsible entities. 

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Attendees can also recycle badges at the end of the show and there is a program for reducing one-single-use plastic bottle consumption during the event.

The official MWC19 event app is available as a free download from the AppStore and Google Play. 

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