Monday, March 02, 2015

GSMA Mobile World Congress 2015

So today the Mobile World Congress officially opened in Barcelona and I fear that it's days are numbered as an event because the Circus that is the exhibition is now too big and the Conference of little relevance to the Mobile Network Operators who make up the GSMA. For many MWC15 started on Sunday with a number of handset makers holding Press Events to launch new devices.

The GSMA in an effort to raise funds has grown the exhibition event to a size that it is no longer controllable.  Yet it has failed to attract the likes of Apple to attend either to exhibitor or talk at the conference. Every year the GSMA attempts to set the agenda and fails, it leaves me feeling disappointed and questions just what datapoints they select in an effort to predict the future.  This year they are focusing on the Internet of Things which I have to ask just what does that have to do with Mobile Networks over the next 5 years?

Just before Telecoms World collapsed we saw Internet Firms descend on Switzerland spending $1M+ on stands getting all the attention rather than presentations on the Conference stage.  I fear that we are witnessing the same with MWC.  At the end of this week I am sure that the GSMA will announce ever more visitors attended, more press attended and the whole thing was a success.  I think I will say that the event has become somewhat like a Conservative Party Conference all be it on a large scale. We took a trip to the seaside to walk around a massive soulless space and feel that we are close to the powerful only to discover that we have no influence let alone power to shape the future!  


Ged Carroll said...

Whatever did happen to the ITU? Secondly do you think the Mobile 360 events are trying to reboot the talking shop franchise so WMC can turn into CeBIT lite?

Ian Wood. Principal Wireless Foundry LLP said...

Ged the ITU still exists all be it in a smaller form they no longer are capable of forming opinion.

I think that the GSMA don't know what they are seeking to achieve with MWC and thus it risks just imploding. I know that for the past few years I have done my work at a Central Hotel rater than on the Show Ground and a number of others no longer seek accreditation for MWC.

Post the event many are talking about the fact that they fear that they have not achieved their targets for the event in terms of business development or knowledge capture. All seem to be complaining of sore feet following the miles walked around large halls!