Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 GSMA Mobile World Congress Surpasses Record 100,000 Visitors

Attendees from 204 Countries Convene in Barcelona to Shape the Future of Mobile

BARCELONA, Spain - Saturday, February 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Visitors to the 2016 edition of the Mobile World Congress surpassed the 100,000 mark for the first time in the event’s history, with nearly 101,000 attendees, the GSMA reported today, an increase of more than six per cent over last year. Additionally, nearly 4,000 people participated in the ESL Expo Barcelona, which took place the weekend prior to Mobile World Congress.

Visitors from 204 countries attended the mobile industry’s premier event at the Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc venues in Barcelona. The 2016 Mobile World Congress featured more than 2,200 exhibiting companies showcasing cutting-edge products and services across 110,000 net square metres of exhibition and hospitality space. More than 3,600 international media and industry analysts attended the event to report on the many significant industry announcements made at the Congress.

“Mobile World Congress hit a significant milestone in 2016 as visitors to the event surpassed 100,000 for the first time,” said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd. “This year’s Mobile World Congress incorporated a diverse range of events, spanning multiple sectors and interests, reflecting the expanding role of mobile around the world. We once again enjoyed a tremendously stimulating show, featuring a world-class speaker line-up and a range of cutting-edge product launches that will set the tone for the mobile industry for the remainder of the year and beyond.”

The four-day conference and exhibition attracted 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. Over 55 per cent of this year’s Mobile World Congress attendees hold C-level positions, including more than 5,000 CEOs and 21 per cent of attendees for the 2016 show were women. Preliminary independent economic analysis indicates that the 2016 Mobile World Congress will have contributed more than €460 million and over 13,000 part-time jobs.

Industry Leaders Take the Stage in Barcelona

The 2016 conference programme featured 12 keynote sessions and 48 in-depth track sessions over four days. Among the highlights of the conference were keynotes with CEOs, and senior execs from organisations including ARM, AT&T, BT Group, BuzzFeed, China Mobile, Cisco, Digital Legends, Ericsson, ESL, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, GE Digital, Getty Images, Huawei, Intel Corporation, Jukedeck, Jukin Media, MasterCard, MERCEDES AMG Petronas Formula One team, Morpho (Safran), PayPal, Publicis Groupe, Qualcomm Incorporated, Roshan, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., See.Sense, Stripe, SwiftKey, Telefónica, Telegram, Telenor, Turkcell, UNICEF, University of Manchester, Vodafone and WPP.

Record Attendance to GSMA Ministerial Programme

Running alongside the main event was the GSMA’s Ministerial Programme, which also saw record attendance, with delegations representing 137 countries and 31 international organisations. The Ministerial Programme brings together governments, regulators and industry leaders to discuss the specific regulatory issues relating to the development of mobile around the world. Intel was the Official Sponsor for the 2016 GSMA Ministerial Programme and Mobile World Summit.

Innovation City Showcases Connected Living

An estimated 28,000 attendees visited the GSMA Innovation City, which showcased the impact of mobile-connected products and services on consumers and businesses, with demonstrations from partners AT&T, GMA, Jasper, KT Corporation and Sierra Wireless. Covering 2,000 square metres, this unique space hosted numerous cutting-edge interactive demonstrations spanning a diverse range of sectors including industry, transport, health, home and retail, amongst many others. Highlights included a virtual reality experience on board the Innovation City airliner, a virtual ski jump and demonstrations of how mobile connectivity is helping to track pets and keeping cyclists safe.

4 Years From Now at Fira Montjuïc

Now in its third year, 4 Years From Now (4YFN) attracted more than 12,500 attendees and featured 500 startups and large companies in the Innovation Market. An international programme presented by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the GSMA, 4YFN brings together the best mobile start-ups and entrepreneurs with investors, accelerators, incubators and corporations from the mobile ecosystem. Held 22-24 February, the 4YFN programme hosted inspiring talks, interactive workshops, cutting-edge exhibition, startup competitions and unique networking opportunities for the entrepreneurial tech sector.

ESL Expo Barcelona Delivers Cutting Edge-Gaming Competition

The GSMA hosted ESL Expo Barcelona at the Fira Montjuïc, 19-21 February, in partnership with ESL, the world’s largest esports company. The event featured the "Barcelona CounterStrike Invitational" tournament, won by “Fnatic”, the world's #1 ranked team, beating world #2 “Astralis" in the finals. ESL Expo Barcelona also featured the inaugural “ESL Masters - Spanish National Championship for League of Legends”. Nearly 4,000 gaming enthusiasts per day visited the 3-day tournament to watch live as teams competed for more than €80,000 in prize money. Meanwhile, more than 2 million viewers logged on to watch the competitions online, with over 175,000 concurrent viewers online for the finals on Sunday.

Event Awarded Guinness World Record For Carbon Neutral Footprint

The 2015 Mobile World Congress was recently awarded a Guinness World Record, confirming its position as the largest carbon neutral trade show in the world. Mobile World Congress was certified in July 2015 as carbon neutral by BSI (British Standards Institution), verifying that the GSMA successfully completed the certification process under the PAS 2060 international standard and that Mobile World Congress had achieved a carbon neutral footprint. For 2016, the GSMA focused on further reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the event, offsetting any outstanding emissions as necessary and will pursue carbon neutral certification following Mobile World Congress 2016.

“We thank all of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and partners for helping us to make the 2016 edition of the Mobile World Congress the biggest and best show in the event’s history. We also extend our gratitude to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the city of Barcelona, the city of Hospitalet, Turisme de Barcelona, the Fira de Barcelona, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation and all of our Barcelona partners for their ongoing support,” concluded Hoffman.

Mobile World Congress 2017

The 2017 Mobile World Congress will be held 27 February – 2 March 2017 at Fira Gran Via.

The Mobile World Congress is the cornerstone of the Mobile World Capital, which will be hosted in Barcelona through 2023. The Mobile World Capital encompasses programmes and activities that span the entire year and will benefit not only the citizens of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, but also the worldwide mobile industry. For more information on the Mobile World Capital, visit

For more information on the 2016 Mobile World Congress, please visit

Note to editor: *This figure represents the number individual attendees at the event, including delegates, exhibitors, contractors and media; it does not represent the total number of entries to the event.


About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.    


For the GSMA

Charlie Meredith-Hardy

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Núria Picas

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GSMA Press Office