MWC 2023: Barcelona Plays Host City to a Convergence of Mobile Technology, Community, and Commerce

Barcelona holds the keys to the connectivity ecosystem’s largest and most influential event of the year. In November 2022, Barcelona held the Smart City Expo World Congress, which gathered the international community to showcase smart city innovation and smart urban solutions. Now, the crown jewel of Spain is home to the Mobile World Conference, or MWC 2023, which is back for an action-packed four days.

MWC 2023 kicked off on Monday, February 27, and continues through Thursday, March 2. It is the place to be for the larger telecom and mobile communications industry, where thought leaders become change-makers, new ideas turn into business deals, and networking means remarkable connections.

Where is the industry headed, and what’s shaping discussion at this year’s show? MarketScale’s Brandon Pfluger, host of the industry leading show Getting Smart, got his passport in order and was on the scene at MWC 2023. Here are his daily thoughts on the highlights and significant takeaways from the event.


Day One Thoughts


“Hey everybody. It’s the end of day one of Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, the Fira Gran Via, in Barcelona. It was unbelievable. We talk about the future of technology all of the time. We’re always talking about living in the future. We are always talking about innovating 6G now, but what’s really being talked about is how we’re actually living in that future right now.

So it’s cool to see all the different ways we’re applying 5G technology, we’re applying connectivity, we’re applying private networks in different spaces that make our world so much more efficient, so much more technologically advanced, and really allow us to be a lot safer and do a lot more things. It’s really exciting to see it.

The FinTech market is even implementing 5G. There’s lots of semiconductor technology that’s using connectivity, and it’s just really cool to see everything come together here at this wonderful community; with GSMA hosting this wonderful event every year.

It’s finally back. It’s finally all together here again. It’s just day one.”


Day Two Thoughts


Day two recap at Mobile World Congress. It’s been an amazing day. We had some unbelievable speakers, people from Netflix, Lockheed Martin, FC Barcelona, one of my favorite clubs in all of world soccer.

There are just so many really cool discussions going on today, someone like Netflix talking about the streaming power, and how telco companies are demanding that shipping providers even provide the funding for the 5G and broadband equipment. Interesting to note. Apparently internet usage is a really big opportunity for all, and it’s interesting to see going forward who’s going to be responsible for that. They also noted that they are launching these new remote editing studios attached to some of their central hubs for content creation, so it’s going to have incredible technology partners in there with 5G broadband, all sorts of technology that’s going to help them edit in real time anywhere in the world. Really cool.

Lockheed Martin, we’ve all heard AI being mentioned a million times in the last several months it feels like with ChatGPT taking over every discussion. AI is extremely important. We’re collecting more and more data all of the time. It’s helping us extrapolate that data and from there we’re going to be able to use humans to understand what that data is and make actionable decisions going forward. So again, Lockheed Martin, not using AI to replace humans in all of their missions and across the world in those different technology settings that they’re working in, they simply believe AI is going to unlock a lot of new data that we can then take and make for better.”


Day Three Thoughts


“Another big continued theme this week is the idea of community. We keep hearing it more and more, partner alliances being built to further innovate together. A fun question was posed to T-Mobile today in one of their speeches, which you’ll probably see on LinkedIn or Twitter. Here it is: “How do you continue to have this underdog mentality now that you’re one of the big dogs?” And the answer was great. It was talking about always having that day one energy and being customer obsessed. And that’s where T-Mobile continues to thrive. It’s where others are continuing to join in on that same shared vision and same shared energy.

And I encourage you, if you haven’t done something great for your customers recently, if you haven’t done something great for your community recently, get out there. Do something, have some fun with it, and at the end of the day, let’s be one.”

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