Barcelona to remain host of Mobile World Congress until 2018


Spanish city beats off competition from Paris, Munich and Milan to host annual global telecoms event for a further seven years

The GSMA has decided to keep Barcelona as the host city for Mobile World Congress from 2012-2018 following an 18 month search.

Barcelona, which has hosted the annual event since 2006, beat off final competition from Paris, Munich and Milan. Amsterdam and Cologne were also in contention until the final shortlist was reduced to four cities.

Mobile World Congress will move to the new venue of Fira de Barcelona Gran Via in 2013, which will take place between February 25-28 that year. It will remain at the Fira de Barcelona Monjuic next year, taking place from February 27-March 1.

Beyond Mobile World Congress, Barcelona also features two additional elements. The Mobile World Centre will comprise permanent and temporary exhibitions which are aimed at melding culture and technological innovation, facilities for the development and incubation of mobile solutions, and retail and hospitality venues.

The Mobile World Festival, which is targeted to the general public, will incorporate a range of activities including sporting events, music and art festivals, film awards, applications and technology fairs.

According to estimates from the Barcelona Candidacy, the event will next year bring in more than €300 million to the city and that could stretch to €3.5 billion over the seven years residency. In addition, it estimated thousands of part-time jobs will be created from the event in 2012.

The four-day event in February this year attracted more than 60,000 attendees from 200 countries, including 3,000 CEOs, government delegations from 131 countries and more than 2,900 media representatives.

GSMA CEO John Hoffman said: “All of the cities who competed for this title presented extremely innovative and compelling bids, but in the end, 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.”