GSMA Names Barcelona the First Mobile World Capital

Barcelona Edges Competition to be Named Mobile World Capital for 2012-2018

After an 18-month search, the GSMA today announced that Barcelona has been selected as the Mobile World Capital from 2012 to 2018.  As the Mobile World Capital, Barcelona will be the home of the mobile industry’s must-attend event, the GSMA Mobile World Congress, and will also develop a range of other programmes and activities that will span the entire year and will benefit not only the citizens of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, but also the worldwide mobile industry.

“We are thrilled to announce that Barcelona will be the Mobile World Capital for the next seven years,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd.  “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.”

“Becoming the Mobile World Capital was a strategic bid for Barcelona, and consolidates our leadership as a benchmark city for new technologies,” said Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona. “This will give a significant boost to the image of our city brand associated with a sector, that of mobile communications, which will experience strong growth in the next few years. Barcelona is reaping the rewards of the serious, professional work of different institutions with the involvement of many of the city’s companies and entities. Now, Barcelona will be the center of a new model of international event linked to economic growth, industrial development and the creation of new jobs vital to the future of our economy.”

Bringing the Mobile World Capital Vision to Life

The cornerstone of the Mobile World Capital is the Mobile World Congress, a four-day event which in 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.  Starting in 2013, the Mobile World Congress will be held at the cutting-edge venue Fira de Barcelona Gran Via.  The dates for the 2013 Mobile World Congress are 25-28 February 2013.

— more —

Beyond the Mobile World Congress, the Mobile World Capital also features two additional elements: the Mobile World Centre and the Mobile World Festival. The Mobile World Centre will comprise permanent and temporary exhibitions which meld culture and technological innovation, facilities for the development and incubation of mobile solutions, and retail and hospitality venues. The Mobile World Festival, which is targeted to the general public, will incorporate a range of activities including sporting events, music and art festivals, film awards, applications and technology fairs and more.

According to estimates from the Barcelona Candidacy, the Mobile World Capital would bring, in the first year alone, more than 300 million euro, along with thousands of part-time jobs. As some of the initiatives have a mid-term reach and will grow steadily during their implementation, the economic impact is expected to increase progressively and, based on Barcelona’s assessments, could reach 3.5 billion euro over the seven years of the Mobile World Capital.

“I would like to commend and thank all of the finalist cities – Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Paris – for their excellent proposals and the huge amount of energy and creativity that was put into them,” concluded Hoffman.  “We look forward to working in partnership with the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, the Government of Catalonia, the City of Barcelona, Fira de Barcelona and the Barcelona Tourism Bureau in bringing the vision of the Mobile World Capital to life.”

The selection of the Mobile World Capital was based on many criteria and took into consideration all aspects of what a city can offer. The GSMA undertook a thorough and complex evaluation process, starting with 30 cities, narrowing it down to six cities, reducing it to a short list of four finalists, and then finally, selecting Barcelona as the Mobile World Capital.

Mobile World Capital Press Conference

The GSMA and Barcelona will hold a joint press conference at 11:30 am CET on Wednesday 27th July at the Fira de Barcelona Montjuic.

Speakers will include:

  • John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd.
  • Artur Mas, President of Catalonia
  • Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona
  • Juan Junquera, Secretary of State for ICT, Spain
  • Josep Lluís Bonet, President of the Fira de Barcelona
  • Joan Gaspart, President of the Barcelona Tourism Bureau

During the press conference, the executives will elaborate on the shared vision of Mobile World Capital – Barcelona and provide greater detail on the programmes and activities that Barcelona will be undertaking in the Mobile World Capital.  Media wishing to attend and to get further details should RSVP at [email protected].

— more —

For more information on the Mobile World Capital, please visit

Download photo of Fira de Barcelona Gran Via here.

Download Spanish translation here


About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning 219 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Congress.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at or the GSMA corporate website at

Media Contact:
For the GSMA
Ben Evetts
[email protected] or [email protected]
+ 44 (0) 7879 614941

Sonia Martínez
[email protected]
Tel: +34 93 236 09 00
Mobile: +34 607 160 732

Evelyne Hollands
[email protected]
Tel: +34 93 236 09 00
Mobile: +34 607 348 341