BARCELONA (Reuters) – Mobile Communication industry players are descending to an annual event in Barcelona to showcase this year’s most needed technologies, including COVID-19 controls, FFP2 masks, and digital badges for tracking contacts.
More than 30,000 guests from 143 countries will descend on the Catalan city for the three-day Mobile World Congress (MWC), which begins Monday, but they’ll all have to pass through a massive testing center with 80 booths.
While that’s a far cry from the 100,000-plus attendees of previous years, it’s an encouraging result for the organizers, the International Mobile Manufacturers Association (GSMA). The raging pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event, and there are fears of more this week.
“My biggest concern is …”I expected exhibitors to say en masse, “I’m not coming back,” but that didn’t happen,” said Mats Granryd, director of the GSMA.
“These very different options will exist for the foreseeable future, and we will have to live with them.
The situation for many of the large commercial companies is complex. Telefonica, Orange, Huawei, Lenovo, and Vodafone participate, while Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung are not.
Industry insiders hope this year’s conference, divided into physical, digital, and hybrid, will serve as a model for future corporate meetings.
At a warm-up reception at Barcelona’s La Boqueria market on Sunday, friends and MWC stakeholders were eager to chat, trade elbows and fists, and try to break out of a year of isolation, lock-in, and video conferencing.
“This (MWC) is a ‘before’ and ‘after’ sign,” said Carme Artigas, head of the Spanish government’s digital and artificial intelligence department, at the luncheon. This is the beginning of our approach to restart the financial system.
However, the scale of the test operation was daunting.
In a large room in Philadelphia, where MWC is held, 10,000 people registered on Saturday alone to prepare for the event, a process Granryd called “clean.”
“We’re showing the world that we can have these opportunities, that it’s safe, that we can do entrepreneurship and meet again,” Granryd said.
MWC 2021 will consist of in-person events and digital presentations that can be viewed at home by those unable to attend the event due to the pandemic. A €438.90 (£38,900) virtual pass will be available for purchase, allowing you to watch all stages.
What to expect from Samsung at MWC 2021?
One of the enormous expectations for Samsung at MWC 2021 is the unveiling of the new Galaxy Watch, which will likely be the first smartwatch released by the South Korean company since Google introduced the partnership between the two companies to develop WearOS. While we can expect an announcement on the rumored Galaxy Watch 4, there’s little to suggest that Samsung will unveil the new phone at the company’s digital event, which begins tomorrow.
What to expect from Lenovo at Mobile World Congress 2021?
The Chinese company, which will be at MWC 2021, is expected to make a mobile-related announcement on June 28 and may make other announcements after June 23, although it has since announced laptops and Chromebooks.
Intel announcements at Mobile World Congress
Intel has been touting its 5G connectivity capabilities lately, and the company is working on improving its chips that can also be used in laptops. Intel could unveil gadgets and chipsets with 5G capabilities as early as tomorrow, June 28, and bring many developments to improve connectivity.
Manufacturers not exhibiting at Mobile World Congress 2021
Many manufacturers have reportedly cancelled their participation in MWC 2021. These manufacturers include Google, Xiaomi, Nokia, Sony, and Fb. It is unlikely that these companies will make any announcements, but they may make their announcements about enhanced and upcoming options in the coming days.