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Mobile World Congress 2017


  • Fira Gran Via Barcelona Spain (map)

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA and held in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, 27 February - 2 March 2017

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  • Twitter: @GSMA / #MWC16
  • Web: https://www.mobileworldcongress.com/
  • Date: February 27 - March 2
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Cost: Prices range from €799 for an Exhibition Visitor Pass through Silver (€2,199) and Gold (€2,699) passes, topping out at €4,999 for a Platinum Pass

The GSMA is the major mobile industry trade group, made up of 800 mobile operators and 250 mobile ecosystem companies, and Barcelona's MWC is its annual showcase; the 2016 installment was attended by more than 100,000 people. While it began as a mobile communications show, it has "evolved tremendously," in the words of 2015 attendee Martine Naughton, who works in European marketing for Aria Systems, "showcasing some of the world’s major technology breakthroughs, from wearable devices to connected cars and homes."

In 2016, MWC even pushed into discussion of virtual and augmented reality. But that doesn't mean the conference has lost focus: Dan Bieler, a Forrester blogger and analyst who attended MWC 2016, noted, "The main MWC themes are increasingly intertwined," though he grumbled that MWC still falls short of translating mobility into tangible business benefits for digital transformation.

Still, MWC is one of those shows that define the industry's conversation for the year. Tracks at this year's show will touch on 5G, blockchain, AI-assisted digital health, personalization, telecom companies getting into the content business, and much more.

Who should attend? Who shouldn't? Anyone whose job touches mobile will have something to see or learn, including app developers, operators, equipment vendors, and pros from the Internet, financial, marketing, and entertainment industries.