From 2-5 March 2015 the international technological community will come together at one of the most important events of the year, as the world’s largest mobile technology convention, the GSMA Mobile World Congress, is held in Barcelona for the 10th time. With just weeks to go until the event, GSMA CEO John Hoffman visited Fira de Barcelona for a press conference, accompanied by Michael O’Hara and Shaun Collins, to disclose more details on a congress that generates some 436 million euros and over 12,000 jobs.
MWC15 in numbers
The GSMA Mobile World Congress is one of the most internationally-renowned industry events, registering remarkable, exponential growth, year after year. Thus, the organisation believes that in 2015 the attendance numbers from the 2014 edition will be surpassed, with more than 90,000 attendees, including 4,000 accredited journalists from around the world, and participation by government delegates from more than 160 countries.
New faces for Mobile World Live Keynotes
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be back this year as a speaker at the session scheduled to take place on Monday, March 2. He will be accompanied by Christian De Faria, CEO of Airtel Africa; Mario Zanotti, senior vice president of operations at Millicom; and Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO of Telenor Group, at a forum on ways to extend and facilitate the spread of connectivity to people all over the world.
Two new faces will be joining the over 250 speakers confirmed for #MWC15: Tom Wheeler, president of the FCC (US Federal Communications Commission), and Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president at Google, where he oversees Android, Chrome & Google Apps.
The Mobile World Live Keynotes will be streamed throughout the facility, and also on the Mobile World Live portal, in an effort to reach thousands of users worldwide.
Zuckerberg, Wheeler and Pichai join the list of speakers, which boasts top industry professionals, such as César Alierta (Telefónica), Vittorio Colao (Vodafone), Ralph de la Vega (AT&T) and Xi Guohua (China Mobile); manufacturers of mobiles and chips like Hans Vestberg (Ericsson), Ken Hu (Huawei), Brian Krzanich (Intel) and Steve Mollenkopf (Qualcomm); and high-level banking and automobile industry executives, including Carlos Ghosn (Renault-Nissan), Ajay Banga (Mastercard) and Francisco González (BBVA). Other major figures from the technological sector will also participate in the talks, including will.i.am, Michelle Baker (Mozilla) and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia).
GSMA Innovation City or the potential of augmented reality
Hall 3 at Fira de Barcelona – Gran Via will feature an area that is a must visit: GSMA Innovation City, an immersive mobile experience that, based on the connection of thousands of devices, will make it possible to interact with the latest technological advances in the fields of 3D, biometric wearables, and virtual reality.
mSchools and 4YFN, promoting education and entrepreneurship
During his visit to Barcelona John Hoffman also underscored the importance of initiatives backed in collaboration with the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation and the local government, such as the mSchools program. “The production model is changing”, Hoffman stated. “Thanks to mSchools, throughout the year we are helping young people to prepare for the future”. The initiative has been so important on the Catalonian educational scene that #MWC15 will feature participation by 500 local teachers, the Education Secretary of the regional government, and the youths who won the third edition of the Mobile Learning Awards.
Hoffman also announced that 4 Years From Now (4YFN), the event held in parallel with the GSMA Mobile World Congress and dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation, has already filled the space available for exhibitors, talks and workshops. Some 4,000 – 5,000 people are expected to turn out for an event which, in the words of the GSMA’s CEO, “is the right place for companies with great plans and ideas to seek financing so that they end up as great businesses in the future”.
Mobile technologies are about much more than mobile phones, including multiplay services, IoT, wearables, the business world… All this and much more will be on display in Barcelona from 2-5 March at the GSMA Mobile World Congress.
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