Mobile World Congress - an overview

The party might be over, but its legacy lives on in the new deals made at MWC 2013

As a record 72,000 shattered souls traverse the near mile-long conference venue for one last time, heading for parties, airports, or if they are lucky, beds, it is a good time to reflect on the importance of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013.


Thousands of deals have been struck, tapas dishes eaten, free drinks consumed and of course products exhibited, including the Sony Xperia Tablet Z.

We have seen how new operating systems, such as Firefox OS could change the mobile industry and people's lives around the world, but with MWC pouring 320 million euro (£276.7 million) into the coffers of the local economy, the event is changing things here and now.

They may only be temporary, but the huge event has created 6,500 jobs for local people. And in times of economic strife in Spain, that is not to be sniffed at.

While some have criticised the event's supposedly lower profile, down to the lack of a visible Apple or Google presence, (apart from Google's now famous late night bash with Florence and the Machine performing) one of the organisers summed it up well.

"We pride ourselves as a place where people come to do business", said Michael O'Hara, GSMA's chief marketing officer.

"You see I think the thing that makes this an amazing thing is the meetings and the networking that's happening. It's really the one place where the industry comes together to get things done.

"I think it's fine that people do product launches outside the event. When I sat on the other side, it's hard to get above the noise of the event - there's so much going on.

"So people doing launches a week before, two weeks before or launching after, I don't think that's a big, big issue for us.

"The core is that everyone is here, (representatives from) Apple and Google are here, everyone across our industry is here and they are doing business and they are working out how we move the mobile industry forward."

As the dust settles on Fira Gran Via, it will be the deals that are struck here that will shape the industry for years to come.

And with such a diverse range of exhibiting companies (1,700 in total), the results are sure to be exciting.