Mobile World Congress 2016 – to focus on “Mobile is Everything”


Whether it is next generation mobile technology or cutting edge wearable computing – 3D printing or live applications around Internet of Things – the iconic Mobile World Congress or simply MWC – is regarded as a global platform where futuristic technologies shape things for the near future and the whole world keeps an eye at this event in order to get the right technology pulse of the future.

Zia Askari from speaks with Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA about the core focus for MWC 2016 and what to expect for the next year’s mega exposition.

What are the key focus areas where this year’s Mobile World Congress will put its emphasis on?

The 2016 edition of Mobile World Congress marks the 30th anniversary of the event and over the past three decades, we’ve experienced the dramatic growth and development of the industry. This year the theme for the 2016 event is ‘Mobile is Everything’, and the event will showcase the technologies, products and services that are shaping the future of the mobile industry, from network infrastructure to mobile handsets and devices to software and applications and much more.

We will have more than 2,000 companies exhibiting, including global brands such as Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Ford Motor Company, Google, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Telecom, Sony Mobile Communications, Telefónica, VMware and Vodafone, among others. The 2016 conference programme will again feature a combination of visionary keynote sessions and in addition, the conference will include nearly 50 in-depth track sessions examining topics such as 5G, devices, digital commerce, disaster response, emerging markets, enterprise mobility, gaming, financial services, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, mobile identity, privacy, security, smart cities and virtual reality/augmented reality, among others. And of course, Mobile World Congress offers a range of additional programmes, from partner-led events to GSMA seminars on specific industry topics and much more.

How does the exposition look at becoming a platform where global operators and connected ecosystem providers can look for answers to their challenges..?

Mobile World Congress continuously evolves to keep pace with the dramatic growth and development of the industry that we are seeing and our 2016 event reflects this, with new participants, programmes and event elements.

As with previous editions of the event, Mobile World Congress 2016 will attract executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, internet companies and companies from industry sectors such as automotive, finance and healthcare, as well as government delegations from across the globe. For 2016, we’re expecting more than 95,000 attendees from across the ecosystem to converge in Barcelona.

Over the recent past, MWC has also gained on its reputation for being a great platform for next gen device launches… will this year be any different..?  What can we expect for this year..?

Yes, Mobile World Congress is viewed as “the place to do business” and that includes companies using it as a platform for making major product launches. Unfortunately, we can’t share any special insight into our exhibitors’ launch plans for 2016 – we’ll have to wait and see along with the rest of the world!


There are many global events which have quite successfully moved from their base cities to other key geographies and MWC has also done the same by moving towards China….when can we a MWC happening in India..?

The GSMA produces a broad portfolio of events that are designed to convene the mobile ecosystem at a global, regional and local level. In Asia, the GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai is the premier mobile industry event, offering participating companies the ability to reach a global audience, while also enabling international brands to capitalise on opportunities in the fast-growing and dynamic Asian market.

We’re excited to continue building Mobile World Congress Shanghai as a leading showcase for industry players, enterprises, brands and tech-savvy consumers.

What kind of challenges do you think an event like MWC needs to overcome in order to ensure greater level of growth and profitability…?

As noted previously, over the past three decades, we’ve experienced the dramatic growth and development of the industry. At the same time, we’ve continuously evolved Mobile World Congress to keep pace with this change and our 2016 event reflects this, with new participants, programmes and event elements. We look forward to welcoming the mobile industry back to Barcelona in February.