Back in August of last year, we asked you where you’d like the Mobile World Congress to be held each year starting in 2013. Now if your answer was “in Barcelona”, then your wish has just been granted. If, on the other hand, you’re a someone who’s into mobile and have in one capacity or another been to the MWC in Barcelona numerous times already and were hoping for a change of scenery, then you’ll be disappointed.
Sticking to its self-imposed mid-2011 time frame for the announcement, the GSMA has announced today that Barcelona has won the bid to continue hosting the Mobile World Congress until at least 2018. The previous contract was only valid for one more MWC, the one in 2012. So a new contract had to be made, and last year the GSMA started a selection process. There were many contenders, of which four cities made it to the ‘final’: Barcelona, Milan, Munich, and Paris.
Barcelona will not only host the MWC, but it will become the Mobile World Capital. That apparently means that a range of programs and activities that will span the entire year will be developed and implemented over there. The Mobile World Centre will have permanent and temporary exhibitions “which meld culture and technological innovation, facilities for the development and incubation of mobile solutions, and retail and hospitality venues” (whatever that may mean). The Mobile World Festival will be targeted at the ‘general public’ and will incorporate sporting events, music and art festivals, film awards, technology fairs, and more.
The Mobile World Congress in 2012 will be the last one to be held at the now well known Fira de Montjuic location. It will take place between February 27 and March 1, 2012. Starting in 2013, the Mobile World Congress will be held at the new Fira de Gran Via venue, which will have 240,000 square metres of exhibition floor space divided into 8 pavillions. The 2013 event will happen between February 25 and 28.
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