MWC Barcelona attracts over 88,000 attendees

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) returned "in full force", John Hoffman, chief executive officer (CEO) of GSMA, told Xinhua on Thursday.
MWC Barcelona attracts over 88,000 attendees

People visit the 2023 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain February 27.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) returned "in full force", John Hoffman, chief executive officer (CEO) of GSMA, an industry group that represents the world's biggest mobile phone operators and the organizer of the event, told Xinhua on Thursday.

The industry's main trade show closed its doors on Thursday with 88,500 confirmed attendees from 202 countries and regions, including around 5,000 from China after the country lifted travel restrictions earlier this year.

"The level of energy and support from partners, businesses and policymakers has exceeded our hopes and expectations," Hoffman said.

Over 2,400 exhibitors, sponsors and partners were represented at the trade show held between February 27 and March 2, including 150 from China, GSMA said, along with over 1,000 speakers and thought leaders, covering and discussing the most important issues in the telecoms industry, from 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence to cloud computing and the usage gap.

"I am continuously awed and humbled by the sense of community, innovation, excitement and business generation at MWC Barcelona. Anecdotally, exhibitors and partners are reporting that their expectations have been surpassed," Hoffman said.

The MWC is a chance for tech companies to launch and show off their latest products and innovations, and there was much expectation this year about what the giants of the industry, such as Huawei, Oppo, ZTE, Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson, would reveal at the fair.

The MWC is above all about phones. Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi used the show to launch the latest generation of Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro smartphones, and the new Magic5 series was also unveiled by Honor. Nokia presented its "self-fix phone" that users can repair easily at home.

Also making its debut at the MWC was Huawei's GT Cyber smartwatch described as having "military-level durability," and Motorola showed off its Defy Satellite Link which enables smartphones to send and receive messages without a signal. Chinese brand Oppo unveiled its Smart Health Monitor, which can track heart rate, blood oxygen level and blood pressure.

"I am delighted to see so much positive momentum, with halls bustling with energy for four full days. As digital technologies continue to develop, there is new excitement in the air that MWC captured so well," GSMA's Director General Mats Granryd commented.

GSMA's flagship MWC Barcelona is the first trade show of 2023, with MWC Shanghai scheduled between June 28 and June 30, followed by MWC Las Vegas (September 26-28) and MWC Africa (October 17-19).

Next year's MWC Barcelona is scheduled for February 26-29.

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