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How important is Mobile World Congress for the mobile industry?

The biggest smartphone event in the world will take place in Barcelona between 27 February and 2 March of this year. Here’s what we have to look forward to

Since its creation in 1987, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry has been characterized by presentations and conferences of the highest standards and invaluable opportunities for people representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, and content owners from all over the world to showcase how this indispensable technology can benefit different businesses.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC / GSMA) represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers, internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors.

The MWC 2017 will focus on the areas of 5G, Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), Internet of Things, Security, Content and Media, Emerging Tech, Mobile Advertising, Apps, Retail, and Digital Commerce.

Moreover, the GSMA continues to underscore women’s participation in the world of technology. The following are just some of the pivotal female personalities who will be speaking at MWC2017: Fuencisla Clemares, Country Manager of Google Spain and Portugal, Catherine Ladousse, Executive Director of EMEA Communication at Lenovo, Erica Lockheimer, Senior Director of Engineering Growth at LinkedIn, Rimma Perelmuter, CEO & Global Board Director at the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF). As always, a number of gadgets have been and are expected to launch at MWC, including smartwatches, tablets and several flagship smartphones.

More than 2,200 companies, some of which are the most important in the market, will exhibit at Mobile World Congress 2017. Brands like AOL, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HTC, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Oracle, Orange, Philips Lighting, Qualcomm Incorporated, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Sony Mobile, Telefónica, Vodafone and ZTE, are just some of the regulars in attendance. Moreover, besides the mobile and telecommunications industry, automakers Ford, Peugeot, SEAT, Mercedes-Benz, along with BMW—which will be participating for the first time by running a driverless car experience in the exhibition space between Halls 3 and 5—will be showing off the latest in smart car innovations.

MWC is so much more than just a tech event; it gives one a glimpse into the future in the mobile world which nowadays, affects everything else. Being there puts your finger on the pulse of innovation, and in the information age, this can be very advantageous.

From the business standpoint, MWC is an ideal platform to position the company´s image, to face off and outshine the competition in an intense 4-day event. The massive media coverage is highly advantageous, and due to this companies seize this once-a-year opportunity to do highly-publicized launches of their products.

Samsung would be an ideal example of a company that could use the Mobile World Congress to give its brand a much-needed image boost after the terrible blowups with the Galaxy Note 7 which have resulted in an estimate loss of $3 billion. The South Korean company will have to pull out all the stops to make a good impression through its presentation and activities in MWC 2017.

Even though Samsung is not launching its Galaxy S8 at the conference, it is expected to bring a good show with the launch of the Galaxy Tab S3 at 7pm CET on 26 February.

Being at the Mobile World Congress is a good way to hobnob with the most visionary people in the industry: Averaging 101,000 attendees from over 204 countries coming through the door of the two venues, the Fira Montjuic and Fira Gran Via, with 55% of the demographic composed of C-Level/Board/VP/Directors plus more than 5,000 CEOs.

Huawei is an example of a company that has leveraged off the MWC platform to broaden its profile as a multinational networking and telecommunications services company to a serious player in the mobile field. It has broken the negative connotation associated with products “made in China,” managing to somehow take market share from giants Samsung, Sony and Apple. The series of P6, P7, P8 and P9 have had good reviews and the P10, the much-anticipated flagship smartphone, has gadget heads buzzing.

Participating in this massive event also announces to the world that you are still in the game. Nokia, for example, the brand that once was a household name, is attempting to rise from the ashes to try to regain its former glory as a respected name in the mobile. They are aiming to expand their services by developing an IoT product for huge enterprises.

The “indestructible” 3310

It was the best-selling (over 250 million units sold) and the most resilient and long-lasting phone ever made in history. Its indestructible reputation has made it the star of hundreds of memes and viral videos. People have even put it through a hydraulic press. The Nokia 3310 was discontinued by its makers in 2005 and now is back according to the famous and accurate leaker Evan Blass. A revised 3310 will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of the month. Styled as a “homage”, and coming in at €59.

Apple, who has sworn off trade shows–will not be in the attendance this year.  Apple doesn’t do third-party events because Apple inclined to not needing a tradeshow to launch its products as it has its own show in California.

Apple’s marketing strategy is similar to how it designs its products. It has its own operating system and its own conferences—Mac World and WWDC. Participating in other shows adds publicity to those events, and Apple, which is known its secrecy, does not like to play games where they did not make the rules. It is precisely this attitude that characterizes this American brand.

The 7th edition of the Mobile World Congress kicks off in five days’ time and will show what about technology in a near future.

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