Barcelona is hosting the Mobile World Congress for the ninth year running. Considered the largest congress in the mobile phone industry it hosts 1,800 companies and about 77,000 visitors during the four-day event (24-27 Feb) and nets the city about €350 million.
This year Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg was the keynote speaker, fresh from his purchase of WhatsApp which he says is already now worth more than the €13.8 billion he paid for it. He also announced that WhatsApp intends to offer voice communication and bring internet access to areas of the world that are still unconnected. Other speakers include Virginia Rometty, head of IBM. Samsung, Sony, Nokia (which is now offering phones with Google’s Android operating system and Microsoft services), Huawei and HTC are all in attendance.
The congress also includes the App Planet exhibition with the latest apps and gadgets, and the new section mPowered Industries, which looks beyond technology to marketing, advertising and the media.