MWC: The future's bright in Barcelona

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Barcelona Set To Host Largest Mobile World Congress in History

On the 26 February, Barcelona will once again throw open its doors for the hotly anticipated Mobile World Congress 2018, with high expectations eclipsing concerns about the fallout from the current political situation.

Every year, mobile tech enthusiasts from across the globe flock to the Catalan capital to witness the latest innovations and product launches at the annual exhibition. In fact, 2017 was a record-breaking year for the Mobile World Congress, with well over 100,000 attendees.

Following the 2017 congress, the eyes of the world remained firmly on Barcelona, with politics dominating the news in the latter part of the year. Catalonia’s disputed 1 October independence referendum sent shockwaves through Spain, leading to concerns about damage to the city’s economy, business climate, and tourism sector.

In contrast to the sensational headlines following the vote, life in Barcelona was calm, with a peaceful public committed to going about their daily lives. The city remained open for business, and recent reports have highlighted a resilient Catalan economy with a growth rate above the EU average.

Mobile World Congress, which generates €465m annually for the city, remains committed to Barcelona, with organisers preparing for the 2018 event to be the largest in its history. GSMA, the organisers, have affirmed their ongoing commitment to Barcelona as “the Mobile World Capital and host city” through to 2023.

Carlos Grau, Director of the Mobile World Capital Foundation, brims with optimism about the future of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In an interview with La Vanguardia, he reassured that while the political crisis caused a “shock”, the day-to-day reality is that “normality has returned”. Other recent conferences in the city have been hugely successful, leaving high expectations for the Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC18).

It’s pitched to be an exciting year at MWC18. Samsung’s CEO has already revealed that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will make its global debut at the event, with the rumour mill reporting that Sony, LG and Motorola are also primed to reveal their latest handsets.

Partially thanks to Barcelona’s stellar track record of hosting Mobile World Congress, the city has firmly positioned itself as a digital innovation powerhouse in Europe – recently ranked as the continent’s fifth largest tech start-up hub.

The Catalan capital remains a world-leading destination, with the 2018 World’s Best Cities Report placing Barcelona in its top 10. Delegates attending MWC18 can look forward to a fantastic stay and an event that’s bigger and better than ever before.


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