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MWC: Record attendance for 2012 Congress in Barcelona

The GSMA reports that 67 000 visitors from 205 countries attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

Yesterday, the GSMA reported that more than 67,000 visitors from 205 countries attended the 2012 Mobile World Congress, a new record for the mobile industry’s premier event. The four-day conference and exhibition attracted executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations from across the globe. More than 50 per cent of this year’s Mobile World Congress attendees hold C-level positions, including more than 3,500 CEOs.

“The 2012 Mobile World Congress was a phenomenal success, by any measure. The record numbers that attended this year’s event underscore how central mobile is to the lives of people around the world,”” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA. “”This is also illustrated by the breadth of companies that participated at Mobile World Congress, with representation from not only the traditional mobile industry players, but companies from vertical sectors such as automotive, health and finance, among others. It’s exciting to see the powerful role mobile has in driving innovation in new markets.””

The 2012 Congress hosted more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and occupied 70,500 net square metres of exhibition and business meeting space. More than 3,300 international print, online and broadcast media attended the event to analyse and report on the many significant industry announcements made at the Congress.

According to a preliminary economic analysis just completed, the 2012 Mobile World Congress contributed more than 300 million Euros to the local economy. This represents an increase of more than 25 million Euros over the economic impact of the 2011 Mobile World Congress and is driven by the growth in attendance and in exhibiting companies, as well as the increased footprint of exhibition and hospitality spaces. “”The Mobile World Congress is an important contributor to the Barcelona economy, and as a key pillar of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, it is a positive factor in driving new opportunities for companies and individuals in the city and region,”” said Hoffman.

Leading CEOs Headline Mobile World Congress

During the event, CEOs and senior executives from companies including Alcatel-Lucent, ARM, AT&T, Best Buy, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Deutsche Telekom, eBay, Ericsson, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, Foursquare, Google, HTC, Interpublic Group, ISIS, Juniper Networks, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Sprint Nextel, Telefónica, Telenor Group, VimpelCom, Visa, Vodafone and ZTE discussed and debated the trends and issues which are shaping the mobile industry today and into the future.

In addition to the keynote programme, the 2012 conference also featured dedicated tracks on applications, cloud computing, embedded mobile, mobile advertising, mobile health, mobile money, next-generation technologies and OSS/BSS, as well as sessions exploring business strategy, developing markets, devices, network capacity, regional issues and social media, among other subjects.

Unprecedented Attendance by the World’s Government Delegations

The GSMA’s Ministerial Programme also boasted record attendance, with government delegations from 140 countries and international organisations meeting in Barcelona. The Ministerial Programme is designed to bring together governments, regulators and industry leaders to discuss the specific regulatory issues shaping the development of mobile around the world. This year, the programme was expanded to include greater emphasis on regional issues and hands-on workshops to provide the opportunity for in-depth policy discussions between nations. Sponsors for the GSMA Ministerial Programme at Mobile World Congress included STC, Ericsson, Huawei and the Generalitat de Catalunya.

App Planet: Focus on the Global App Developer Ecosystem

There were more than 50,000 visits to App Planet, a focused event designed to bring together the many critical elements of the broad mobile application ecosystem together in one location. Companies including, IBM, IMGA, Nokia, Research in Motion, Samsung and Wireless Industry Partnership each held application developer conferences (ADCs).

The Mobile World Congress again hosted the Forum Series, a sponsored programme which brings together industry players to discuss and debate a range of topics in focused sessions. 2012 Forums included the Augmented Reality Forum, the LTE Forum, the Mobile Cloud Forum and the Mobile Security Forum, as well as the GTI LTE TDD/FDD International Summit. Overall, more than 12,500 attendees from the developer community visited Mobile World Congress this year.

New for the 2012 event was the mPowered Brands Programme, which focuses on building marketers’ knowledge and accelerating their use of mobile as a marketing medium. The mPowered Brands programme provides an indispensible opportunity for professionals across the mobile marketing ecosystem to gain important and timely insights, practical knowledge and innovative solutions from the companies at the forefront of mobile marketing today, such as McCann Worldgroup and Nielsen.

Mobile World Capital – Vision Becoming Reality

The organisers of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona provided new details on key pillars of the Mobile World Capital, including the Mobile World Centre, the Mobile World Festival and the Mobile World Hub. They also announced the formation of the Mobile World Capital Foundation, which will operate the initiatives and which is comprised of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council, the Fira de Barcelona and the GSMA. Additionally, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the F√∫tbol Club Barcelona have signed a collaborative agreement to promote the initiatives of ICT entrepreneurs and companies that develop innovative mobile services in sports.

Mobile World Congress Moves to Fira de Barcelona Gran Via in 2013

Starting in 2013, the Mobile World Congress will be held at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via, a move which will provide approximately 50 per cent more space and will accommodate continued strong growth and demand for the event. The 2013 Mobile World Congress will be held 25-28 February, 2013.

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