Mobile World Congress Breaks New Ground

More than 55,000 visitors* attended the world’s premier mobile event, the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona to do business and debate the future of the mobile phone industry, making this year’s event the largest yet. The three-day conference, which featured more than 230 chief executives and other high-level speakers from across the world, attracted more than 8,000 delegates.

Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, actor and filmmaker Robert Redford, Wang Jianzhou, CEO of China Mobile, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia, Black-Eyed-Peas front man will.i.am and film actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini were among the diverse range of speakers at the Congress.

“The record attendance figures at this year’s Congress reflect both the extraordinary and compelling conference programme, which covered a broad range of topics from Long-Term Evolution to made-for-mobile short films to the environment, and the high quality of the exhibition,” said John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA’s conference division. “We are also delighted by the seniority of the people that have travelled from all over the world to Barcelona for the Congress – more than 43% of conference attendees hold C-level positions within their organisations.”

Observing, analysing and reporting on the Congress were 2,700 international print, Web and broadcast media and the event made headlines across the globe. The Congress also hosted 1,300 exhibitors across 1,500 stands with approximately 29,000 square metres of exhibition space and 30,000 of square metres of hospitality space, reflecting the fact that people come to the show to network and do business. Mobile entertainment and content formed a major theme throughout the show with an entire hall (Hall 7) dedicated to multimedia content for mobile devices. In addition, the Mobile Backstage event at the National Palace explored the creation of compelling and high-quality content for mobile devices.

“Once again, Barcelona has successfully accomodated a further increase in the size of the Congress,” added Mr. Hoffman. “We would like to thank the city, Catalonia, Fira and all our Barcelona partners for being such warm and efficient hosts. We would also like to thank our sponsors, particularly LG and Telefonica, for their support.”

The Mobile World Congress’s sister event, the Mobile Asia Congress, which takes place in the vibrant city of Macau from November 18th to November 20th, will also stage a world-class conference programme and exhibition, attracting mobile industry leaders from across the globe.

Notes to editors

*This figure covers everyone who attended the event, including delegates, exhibitors, contractors and media

About the Mobile World Congress:
The GSMA’s Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Congress are the world’s leading mobile communications conference and exhibition events, where top executives from mobile operators, equipment vendors, IT companies and entertainment providers meet to do business. In 2007, 52,000 people attended the Mobile World Congress.

The Mobile World Congress in 2009 will take place at the Fira de Barcelona, Spain, between 16th and 19th February 2009. For more information please visit www.mobileworldcongress.com

About the GSMA:
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners. The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association’s members serve more than 2.5 billion customers – 85% of the world’s mobile phone users.

For more information please contact:
Mark Smith or David Pringle
GSM Association
Email: press@gsm.org