San Francisco and Barcelona: At Mobile World Congress Americas, the GSMA and FC Barcelona today announced that they have signed a three-year agreement through which the two organisations will collaborate on a range of technology initiatives in Barcelona and around the world, in areas such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile identity and authentication, and next-generation networks, among others. Additionally, as part of the partnership, FC Barcelona will highlight these and other initiatives at GSMA events including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and Mobile World Congress Americas.
“Clearly, FC Barcelona is recognised globally for excellence in the world of football and they are extending this leadership through the use of innovative mobile technologies and services,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “The GSMA is thrilled to be undertaking this wide-ranging partnership with FC Barcelona – the benefits of this collaboration will be felt across the city and region, further cementing Barcelona’s stature as the Mobile World Capital.”
“The GSMA and the mobile industry have had such a positive impact on Barcelona over the past 12 years that our city has hosted Mobile World Congress, and we are excited to be building upon this strong foundation,” said Josep Maria Bartomeu, President, FC Barcelona. “The initiatives that we are exploring together will help us to leverage mobile technology to optimise FC Barcelona fans’ experience, whether they are visiting Camp Nou or located around the world. We look forward to working together on many exciting projects that will highlight the power of mobile.”
Building Leadership in Innovation
The new technology partnership builds on initiatives launched by FC Barcelona, including the Barça Innovation Hub, which was introduced in March with the goal of helping to transform the world through sporting excellence, using knowledge and innovation. Barça Innovation Hub will also be presented at Mobile World Congress Americas on 14 September. FC Barcelona and the GSMA will work to develop additional use cases for and expand the use of the Barça Innovation Hub to deliver innovative new solutions.
Under the partnership, FC Barcelona and the GSMA will investigate the implementation of mobile technologies such as big data, IoT, mobile identity and authentication, and next-generation networks, among others. For instance, big data and IoT can be used to enable sensors that could track elements at Camp Nou, such as crowd management or air quality. Mobile identity solutions such as Mobile Connect could be used to provide authentication for users accessing FC Barcelona technological services, as well as validate online transactions.
Further, FC Barcelona, through its FCB Foundation collaboration, will work alongside the GSMA in Barcelona-based youth programmes such as the Mobile World Capital mSchools initiative and the YoMo Festival at Mobile World Congress, to encourage students’ interest in and use of technology in learning.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.
About FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona was founded 118 years ago in 1899, and is unique in many ways. The club is owned by its more than 143,000 members and can boast of being the most successful club in Europe over the last ten years. In that time they have won four of the Club’s five Champions League titles and seven of their 24 domestic league titles. Due to its very special personality, ‘Barça’ is recognized as being ‘more than a club’. The team’s distinctive style of play is projected around the world by the best players and coaches of their time in combination with club’s famous reliance on homegrown talent.
All of this goes hand in hand with its ongoing ambition to become the most admired, beloved and global sports institution on the planet. This mission is supported by such core principles as humility, effort, ambition, respect and teamwork, while the club is also famed for its commitment to society, which is channeled through the FC Barcelona Foundation and its work to educate children through the positive values of sport. Such unstoppable growth in recent years has led to a global reach of more than 300 million fans and made FC Barcelona a world leader on social media.
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