Mobile World Congress 2022 - Continues the Success of the 2021 Edition!

9 Mar 2022

Mobile World Congress 2022 was GSMA's second successful event held during the pandemic. It occurred as a hybrid event-a live trade show complemented by a digital platform. The hosting location for the live aspect of the event was the Barcelona Gran Via. The hosting dates for the trade fair were between 28.02.2022 and 03.03.2022. Mobile World Congress 2022 featured strict Covid-19 safety measures. The edition received around 61,000 trade visitors and more than 1,900 exhibitors. Over 1,000 speakers and approximately 500,000 digital viewers also attended MWC22. Completing the high participation numbers were over 1,600 international journalists. The edition featured a variety of highlights and a new feature, the Industry City.

MWC22 took place as the event’s second hybrid edition. The Barcelona Gran Via hosted the event as a live trade fair. Complementing it was a digital platform that was accessible via the MWL website. It was further available through the "My MWC" app. Chinese viewers could also access the digital platform from the MWC Shanghai website. Organisers held the live aspect of the Mobile World Congress between 28.02.2022 and 03.03.2022. The host venue had the latest coronavirus safety precautions in place.

Among the implemented measures were the instalment of onsite medical facilities. These enabled participants to seek medical help if they experienced unwellness. The Fira Barcelona Gran Via also implemented a strict social distancing protocol. This included reconfiguring areas of the venue, like the exhibition halls. The cleaning/disinfection regulation was also among the implemented protocols. As per the rule, Barcelona Gran Via received frequent sanitation. Also, areas such as the access and exit points featured disinfection dispensers. To avoid congestions, organisers kept the mentioned areas separate.

Mandatory pre-registration was also among the safety measures implemented at the venue. For the task, attendees could use BREEZ. This was the event’s facial recognition ID validation service. They could additionally opt for the standard validate-via-agent method. As part of the registration, attendants had to submit detailed information. This included a valid mobile number, ID and 3G entry document. The health certificates that could grant access included vaccination passports. The passports were valid after administering the second dose. A recovery document less than six months old could also serve as a health certificate. As an alternative, attendees could present a negative diagnostic test. The valid forms included PCR or RAT (rapid antigen test). The renewal of the test results had to take place every 72 hours.

The organisers requested ‌all participants to use the MWC22 App as a substitute badge. To renew their badge, attendees had to complete a health declaration every day. While participating in MWC22, participants had to wear FFP2 masks without valves.

The 2022 edition of Mobile World Congress featured a variety of highlights and a new feature. The highlights included the six key themes and their related topics. They also featured the various Summits. During the Summits, leading figures discussed subjects such as metaverse potential. The MWC also featured highlights in the 4YFN sub-event like talent recruitment. A key topic included in the Ministerial programme was closing the digital gap. The 2022 edition of the Mobile World Congress also debuted a new feature known as the Industry City.

The Mobile World Congress 2022 featured six key themes. Each contained three relevant topics. Further, the rendition presented four featured industries:

  • FinTech (Finance Technology)
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare

The six key themes of the MWC22 were:

  • 5G Connect
  • Tech Horizon
  • Internet of Everything (IoT)
  • Advancing AI
  • CloudNet
  • FinTech

Each theme, as mentioned, includes three principal subjects. 5G Connect, for instance, comprises the topics:

  • Sustainability and partnerships
  • 5G to 6G
  • 5G for Industry

The essential topics of Advancing AI were:

  • Ethics
  • Quantum Computing
  • Data and Automation

CloudNet included the essential subjects of:

  • OpenRAN
  • Edge
  • Cloud

FinTech featured the core topics of:

  • Payment Innovations
  • Metaverse
  • Identity and Security

The chief topics of the Internet of Everything theme were:

  • Drones and Devices
  • People, Data, Process
  • Smart Cities and Industry Adoption

Each of MWC’s sub-events included the themes, topics, and industries in some form. The exhibition, for instance, featured the four sectors through leading exhibitors. This included Audi, Tesla, Airbus, Fujitsu, Novartis and Microblink. The conference programme, including the summits, showcased the thematics through dedicated seminars. For instance, each featured industry had its representation through specialised sessions. These discussed subjects, like cyber security, 5G, factory optimisation and others.

Mobile World Congress 2022 featured a new sub-event—Industry City. The new micro-event showcased innovations through demos. It also included three summits. These allowed attendees to learn about various industry-related topics like 5G networks. For the task, they could take part in different seminars and conferences. They could further experience interactive metaverse tours and demonstrations. They could do so by participating in the GSMA Foundry programme.

Industry City featured the central theme of Connectivity Unleashed. It showed how the connection between the real and digital world can be achieved. For the task, Industry City showcased a variety of projects. Examples include the Always-On Network Service (AONS) project. It showed operator capability developments in Pakistan. Such improvements can provide high security for critical 24/7 services like banking.

Another project example is the pre-commercial trial of the Telco Edge Cloud (TEC). The experiment showcases how TEC can run advanced services across networks and locations.

Industry City also included the GSMA 5G Transformation Hub. It featured a digital portal that showcased the most innovative 5G solutions. It further highlighted how technology adds value to various industries.

The Industry City also included three Summits:

  • The Manufacturing Summit
  • The FinTech Summit
  • The Smart Mobility Summit

Each summit focused on different topics. For instance, the Manufacturing Summit included topics like Industry 4.0 dedicated networks. The FinTech Summit likewise explored fintech emerging themes and future opportunities. The Smart Mobility Summit discussed subjects like the economic impact of Smart Mobility.

MWC22 also featured several other networking events as a highlight. This included the GSMA Programmes and the 4YFN. These sub-events featured leading speakers, inspiring participants to consider new technology leveraging means. Leading entrepreneurs, award-winning filmmakers, and government ministers were among the lecturers. The speaker debated a range of subjects, ranging from 5G to talent diversity. The GSMA Programmes comprised four Summits. They further included the Digital Leader Programme.

One summit featured in the GSMA Programmes was the 5G IoT Summit. It focused on the theme of IoT and served as the networking platform for IoT industry experts. The sub-event discussed a comprehensive variety of topics related to the thematic. This includes the latest growth, developments, megatrends, successes, and opportunities. The keynote sessions of the Summit were:

  • The development and growth of Massive IoT

The seminar addressed the development and growth of Mobile IoT and its relation to 5G. It also discussed 5G’s role in the future of Massive IoT and the current IoT strategies. Further, the subjects featured the positive impact IoT has on climate.

  • Edge, big data and critical IoT

The session studied the diversity of big data analytics platforms and services. It also examined the various managed data services types. Further, attendees could learn about the advanced data algorithms related to AI. Data monetisation was also one of the session topics.

  • Enabling the next generation of IoT through eSIM

The session explored the various eSIM business sector opportunities and developments. This included examining new business models that use eSIM in IoT solutions.

The Diversity4Tech Summit was part of both the GSMA Programmes and the 4YFN sub-event. It focused on supporting and discussing industry changes, innovations and post-covid economic growth. It also studied examples of D&I (diversity & inclusion) success. The Summit featured leading speakers addressing subjects such as Design for Inclusion. The Diversity4Tech Summit featured keynote sessions, such as:

  • Driving value and purpose through diversity

The session focused on how inclusive organisations promote and enable positive industry changes. This includes how integrating individuals with diverse capabilities will provide a competitive advantage.

  • Innovating across businesses

The session discussed how business strategies that include diversity and inclusion add value. It also debated how such approaches help to sustain growth.

  • Empowering Inclusion

The session discussed how industries could adopt a beneficial-to-all corporate culture. This includes studying the effects D&I products have on empowering consumers. It also debates the importance of the disability community in promoting innovation.

The 4YFN (Four Years From Now) sub-event also included Diversity4Tech. The micro-event focuses on the entrepreneurial startup community. This includes promoting innovative startup companies. The 2022 edition of the sub-event received more than 500 startups. It further featured over 300 speakers. The highlighted content of the Diversity4Tech Agenda included in 4YFN featured four sessions. These were:

  • How are technology companies dealing with new talent?

Finding/managing talent is a challenge experienced by businesses in the post-COVID era. This is due to the new work methodologies caused by the onset of Covid-19. Yet, there are means to renew talent attraction and retention practices in such a time. This includes opting for the use of the latest innovations. Corporations can further ease the task. They can do so by promoting a flexible and collaborative workplace culture.

  • Talent

Included a discussion on how workplace diversity helps digital companies outperform competitors. The topic was essential, as diversity has become a key asset for organisations. This is due to such companies competing in environments that demand innovation. Teams featuring diverse individuals can help in completing this task. This is due to them stimulating corporations in developing their creative potential. Such diversity additionally encourages enterprises to produce inclusive products. This, in turn, attracts a broader range of customers.

  • Design for Inclusion

The session focused on the importance of inclusive design. It also presented information on how businesses can perform the process. This includes seeking solutions that will fit every individual. This allows people to interact and contribute without barriers like disability harming them. Such solutions begin with effective strategic planning. They continue through efficient management and operations. Creating such designs is essential, as they meet the needs of communities. They also have high market potential because they reach as many clients as possible.

  • Transformation

It showcased the best practices and vital tools needed to hasten industry change. This included integrating and promoting the development of inclusive teams.

The eSIM Summit was also among the featured Summits in the GSMA Programmes. It focused on adopting eSIM and the global market trends related to this technology. It featured speakers such as operators explaining eSIM solutions and opportunities. The keynote sessions of the eSIM Summit were:

  • eSIM in 2022 and beyond

The session summarised the latest developments and trends related to eSIM markets. This included how they affect industry players. The debated subjects featured the newest changes in consumer and enterprise IoT markets. They also introduced what consumers expect from eSIM.

  • Can eSIM be Massive IoT’s Linchpin?

Innovative technologies continue to help in realising IoT potential through simple solutions. This allows enterprises to connect their operations to a vast ecosystem of devices. One technology that can help is the eSIM. The session discusses how the technology can help in accelerating extensive IoT enablement. This includes the optimal use of eSIM to gain a competitive edge.

  • eSIM in Action

Adopting eSIM can aid in better securing IoT data at source and in transit. It can also help in improving the zero-touch integration of such information. Such improvements are essential due to reducing costs and increasing scalable IoT reliability. The session showcases case studies related to the adoption of eSIM. It also provides information on using security schemes for efficient data safety.

The Open RAN Summit was one of the featured Summits included in the GSMA Programmes. It focused on the momentum generated by Open RAN by discussing various use cases. Another highlight of the GSMA Programmes was the Digital Leaders Programme. The sub-event featured extensive conversations between the public and private sector key stakeholders. During the conversions, attendees could learn about the organic city growth opportunities. Among the participants of the sub-event were the signatories of the Digital Declaration. They conversed about how to expand mobile technologies to create future cities. This includes selecting four innovative cities. These will share information with leading adopters of 5G networks. Such participants additionally discussed the best practices.

MWC22 featured the AWS Partner Expo & Lighting Talks as a highlight. There were a series of 14 AWS partner booths and 20 Lighting Talks. The hosting location for the sub-event was the AWS Village Partner Expo. The Village included various sub-events. Among them was a demonstration area and an Edge Continuum guided tour. It also comprised over 20 executive-level theatre sessions. The Partner Expo featured a capacity of 60 participants. It included expositions on relevant topics like SaaS BSS. The Lighting Talks included sessions such as:

  • Hastening business agility with SaaS BSS
  • Hyper-personalised live-streaming 360 videos
  • Tapping millennials with Kaltura Cloud TV Platform
  • Innovating private network deployment models
  • MYCOM OSI’s Assurance solution and how it benefits 5G service providers

The Ministerial Programme and Company Spotlights were also among the highlights of MWC2022. The Company Spotlights were a series of brief sessions. These allowed attendees to learn about topics such as 5G from leading companies. Six companies presented a total of seven Company Spotlight sessions. The six companies were ESET, IDEMIA, Kaspersky, MarketsandMarkets, Microblink and Orange.

The Ministerial Programme served once again as the global digital policy debate centre. It featured over 160 international institutions and country delegates. The delegations included representatives ranging from policymakers to industry leaders. The Programme provided attendees with the opportunity to exchange experiences. They could further examine how to build policies adapted for a digital world. This includes increasing the potential of 5G and meeting the global climate targets. The keynote speakers of the 2022 rendition of the Ministerial Programme included:

  • H.E. Dr Amr Talaat
  • H.E. Dr Carmen Ligia Valderrama Rojas
  • H.E. Hyesook LIM
  • H.E. Nadia Calviñ
  • Hon. Jessica Rosenworcel
  • H.E. Wamkele Keabetswe Mene
  • Anita Bhatia
  • Houlin Zhao
  • Riccardo Puliti
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal
  • Alex Rogers

The Ministerial programme once again included the Government Leadership Award. It lauds the efforts of governments that create strong mobile connectivity regulations. It is part of the Global Mobile Awards - awards that grant recognition to important industry players. Spain received the Government Leadership Award for 2022. This is due to the country undertaking a few initiatives. These include the approval of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan. The Plan comprises allocating recovery funds to promote the deployment of 5G. Furthermore, Spain has auctioned the usage of the 700 MHz band. This will inspire investment and the rapid deployment of 5G technology.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the MWC22 received an impressive amount of participants. This included over 61,000 in-person visitors and around 500,000 virtual viewers. Participants represented approximately 200 countries. The rendition featured over 1,900 exhibitors, sponsors, and partners. The edition additionally received more than 1,000 speakers. 97% of the lecturers attended in person. Over 50% of the attendees were Directors or C-Suit Executives. 20% of the participants were CEOs or founders, and 25% of the attendees, including 36% of the speakers, were women. The media representation of the event included over 1,600 international journalists.

MWC22 once again proved the trade fair's importance for the connectivity industry. It received over 565,500 in-person and virtual participants. This included governmental representatives, C-Suite Executives, Directors, media representatives, CEOs, and founders. The event featured many highlights that focused on topics such as post-COVID recovery. It also debuted a new feature. According to participants, the edition was a resounding success. Many attendees expressed high satisfaction from their participation.