Mobile World Congress is staying put in Barcelona for at least the next seven years. MWC 2012 was already set to be held in the city, but Barcelona had to pitch against three other cities – Milan, Munich and Paris – to become the ‘Mobile World Capital’ from 2013 to 2018. After 18 months of deliberation, Barcelona emerged triumphant on Friday afternoon.
“We are thrilled to announce that Barcelona will be the Mobile World Capital for the next seven years,” says GSM Association (GSMA) CEO, John Hoffman. “All of the cities who competed for this title presented extremely innovative and compelling bids, but in the end, Barcelona truly demonstrated that it deserves the title of the Mobile World Capital, with its combination of outstanding exhibition and conference facilities, its transportation and hospitality infrastructure, its commitment to expanding the reach of mobility throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, and the strong support of the public and private sectors. This is an exciting time for Barcelona and for the mobile industry as a whole.” (No doubt the muggers are celebrating too. On a serious note, it would be interesting to know how concerned the GSMA were about security when evaluating the bids, given the city’s well-publicised problems with muggings and thefts – Ed.)
MWC 2011 attracted more than 60,000 attendees from 200 countries, including 3,000 CEOs, government delegations from 131 countries and more than 2,900 media representatives. MWC 2012 takes place in Barcelona from 27 February – 1 March.