GSMA announces first details of Mobile World Congress 2016


More than 95,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors expected at next year’s event in Barcelona, with a new Metro line linking the airport and city to the venue  

The GSMA has announced the first details of Mobile World Congress 2016, with nearly 100,000 attendees and more than 2,000 exhibitors expected to attend.

MWC, under the theme ‘Mobile os Everything’, will be held on February 22-25 at the Fira Gran via in Barcelona, with events also taking place at the nearby Fira Montjuic.

The first confirmed keynote speakers for the four-day conference programme include GSMA chairman Jon Fredrik Baksaas, director general designate Mats Granryd, Ericsson president and CEO Hans Vestberg and BuzzFeed founder and CEO jonah Peretti.

Among the companies expected to exhibit include Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Ford Motor Company, Google, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Mobile, Telefonica and Vodafone.

The show floor will also include a number of exhibits focusing on specific technology areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments and wearables.

The GSMA Innovation City will again be spread across 1,900 square metres of space, with confirmed partners including AT&T, Jasper and Sierra Wireless. The GSMA said this area will enable attendees to experience technology in context and see how mobile connected products and services can improve their daily lives.

Four Years From Now (4YFN), which is now in its third year, will take place at the Fira Montjuic over the four days of MWC. This is an international programme organised by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the GSMA, bringing together leading mobile start-ups and entrepreneurs with investors, accelerators, incubators and large corporations.

The GSMA said this will be led by globally recognised experts in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation, comprising of conferences, workshops, interactive discussions, one-to-one investor meetings and start-up competitions.

Outside of the main conference, attendees will be able to use a new Barcelona Metro line from Barcelona El Prat Airport to the city, with a stop located directly under the Fira Gran via. This new line will intersect with three other Metro lines, which the GSMA said will simplify travel to and from MWC for thousands of attendees.

GSMA chief marketing officer Michael O’Hara said: “The 2016 edition of Mobile World Congress marks the 30th anniversary of the event and over the past three decades, we’ve experienced the dramatic growth and development of the industry.

“At the same time, we’ve continuously evolved Mobile World Congress to keep pace with this change and our 2016 event reflects this, with new participants, programmes and event elements and we look forward to welcoming the mobile industry back to Barcelona in February.”