Barcelona 27 Feb - 2 Mar 2017

2016 Highlights

Just how do you summarise the world’s biggest and best mobile industry event? Mobile is Everything, and everything mobile was at the show! There’s so much we could say – but we’ll try to keep it brief:

Nearly 101,000 attendees came to Mobile World Congress 2016. Attendees from 204 countries and territories were present, and was covered by more than 3,600 members of the international press and media.


Representing every facet of the ecosystem, more than 2,200 companies participated in our 2016 exhibition, which spanned nine halls and one dozen outdoor spaces at Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc. Everything from virtual reality, new handsets and ingenious app ideas, to 3D printing, privacy protection and backend solutions were on display.

  • Down at the GSMA Innovation City, attendees could see first-hand how mobile-connected products are transforming our personal and working lives. Special thanks to AT&T, GMA, Jasper, KT Corporation and Sierra Wireless for partnering with the GSMA to showcase products and solutions that are changing the way the world communicates.
  • Attendees were fascinated learning about new technology: the remarkable substance called graphene joined our lineup of specialty exhibition pavilions in 2016, alongside Mobile Health, NFC, Apps, Green Technology, IoT, and Wearables.
  • Nearly 40 countries and territories from around the world showcased innovative companies and ideas from their citizens in dedicated Country Pavilions.
  • We introduced MWC Tours in 2016, which offered guided exhibition tours led by industry experts, covering topics such as 5G & NFV, mobile apps, retail & digital commerce, mobile media, IoT and security.


As always, our 2016 conference programme was a highlight of the week, featuring 374 speakers from consumer brands, mobile organisations, mobile operators and industries touched by the mobile market — including advertising, banking, health, NGOs, entertainment and education. View the 2016 keynote speakers.


Returning this year was a robust schedule of partner programmes. We collaborated with 29 industry partners to provide events, user conferences, trainings and forums for thousands of attendees. These programmes covered many topics in the mobile ecosystem, from advertising, banking and gaming to health, education and media.


Over 40 game-changing products, services, devices, apps and technologies were awarded Glomos, the annual Global Mobile Awards. The winners were announced during a series of ceremonies and live TV presentations throughout the week.


Bringing together women in the mobile industry, the GSMA’s Connected Women programme promotes the use of mobile to deliver digital and financial inclusion for women as well as greater inclusion of women as employees and leaders in the industry. Two programmes during the week and a networking event helped bring women together. We’re pleased that for the first time, more than 20% of MWC attendees were female.


Broadcast, film, TV, video, digital music, mobile games and media & brands were featured in a series of events called The MMIX, which looked at a mobile-first approach to media. MMIX attendees received expert analysis, insights and new perspectives on content strategies from leading content value chain players and innovators. The MMIX party was an unforgettable highlight, featuring world-leading DJs in a great environment.


ESL Expo Barcelona, held in conjunction with Mobile World Congress, showcased the exciting world of esports. The event featured some of the world’s best Counter-Strike Global Offensive and League of Legends teams as they competed for substantial prize money in front of an audience of 4,000 fans and an average of 700,000 online viewers.


Delving into the realm of innovation, thousands of mobile entrepreneurs and start-ups joined us at 4 Years From Now (4YFN). This innovative programme at Fira Montjuïc brought together start-ups, investors and interested business owners for learning and networking opportunities, with the aim of giving them the exposure they need to take their ideas to the next level.


Our 2016 event wasn’t just about meetings, exhibition stands and conference sessions, however; attendees have a lot of fun in between business. Guests participated in the Garmin Healthband Challenge to see who took the most steps, and pin trading was a favourite Thursday pastime in the Android Networking Garden as attendees sought elusive Android pins offered by Google and its partners.


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