Barcelona hosts MWC 2015
March 9, 2015
by Mark Ollig

A very successful 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) conference took place last week in Barcelona, Spain.

I noted the Twittersphere was extremely busy; thousands of message tweets using hashtags: #MWC15 and #MWC2015 were posted regarding this year’s conference.

These hashtags were also trending on Twitter during the week of the conference.

Since 2006, the MWC has held an annual exhibit/conference showcasing wireless, mobile technologies.

Approximately 90,000 people took part in this year’s MWC, at the Fira Gran Via Exhibition Center, located in Barcelona.

Facebook founder, Chairman, and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg was also there, and spoke about his company’s project on http://www.Internet.org.

This website brings technology partners and wireless carrier operators together in order for them to raise awareness, and address the estimated 4 billion people living in developing countries, who have no access or connectivity to the Internet.

Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and parts of Columbia are examples of countries where Internet.org has launched pilot programs for providing Internet access.

Recently, villages in India were also added.

“Whenever I go to a new place, I try to also see how connectivity and using Facebook and our apps [applications] are specifically impacting people. The thing that is so striking to me is the lengths that people will go to in order to get connectivity,” Zuckerberg said.

“These apps drive data usage, and that is the future of business, and I think everyone is excited about that . . . the question is just how to get there,” he added.

Zuckerberg identified how future improvements in technology will allow mobile carrier providers to extend their networks to provide the infrastructure for Internet access to the world’s population currently not served.

“The more we connect, the better it gets,” proclaims the homepage banner on Internet.org.

The opportunity to entice companies located in other parts of the world, to the local amenities Barcelona has to offer, was also highlighted during MWC 2015.

Barcelona posted this website: http://ow.ly/JV0ui which presented numerous accommodations, services, and attractions their community offers not only to businesses; but to students, researchers, and visitors who want to “Discover Barcelona.”

I noted there are 664 Wi-Fi hot spots throughout Barcelona, too.

Visit Barcelona’s detailed “Smart City” technologies webpage at: http://smartcity.bcn.cat/en.

Barcelona is a province of Catalonia, which is an autonomous community of Spain.

Catalonia’s largest city, and its capital, is Barcelona.

With the attention the world’s mobile technology users focused on this year’s MWC, Barcelona had the opportunity to promote its own local, technology companies.

The government of Catalonia showcased over 100 Catalan companies involved in the MWC.

Many of these local Catalan companies demonstrated solutions applicable to business and individuals.

Some solutions included smartphone mobile apps for controlling the temperatures in a home or business, and specialized apps for guiding tourists through a city.

Fifth generation, or 5G, wireless network connectivity for smartphones was also a topic of conversation during the week at the MWC.

A peek at the next evolution from today’s 4G wireless mobile technology will be seen during the 2018 Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

While no agreed-upon technical specifications have been established by the wireless industry for 5G, it is known the speed in which data is passed over the wireless network, and to our smart devices, will be radically increased – possibly by a factor of 1,000.

When will you and I be able to start using 5G-compatible smart devices?

Everything I have been reading says it will be in 2020.

I believe the future electronic “smart” sensors and other devices to be connected to the Internet, making up the Internet of Things (IoT); will depend on using 5G technology for its big push into our everyday lives.

In time, our association with the IoT will be regarded as a commonality.

By 2020, we will probably see 5G technologies begin supporting the 50 billion electronic devices predicted to be connected to the Internet.

The Mobile World Congress website is: http://ow.ly/JV3PC.

I also wanted to mention the Mobile World Center, located in Barcelona.

The building this center is located in occupies three floors, and is open to the public.

It houses a permanent exhibition promoting the societal advantages of wireless mobile technology and the Internet; along with details about their evolution.

The Mobile World Center’s website is: http://ow.ly/JV3Fe.

One statement (which I am paraphrasing) on their website says: “Our lives are influenced by the need of being connected. We are living in an extraordinary revolution where the human being is even more important than ever, thanks to technology. We live in a system that is structured through networks and mobile technology which is at the center of everything. It allows us to be connected anytime, anywhere. It helps us to improve our day- to-day lives, and allows us to communicate with the objects that surround us.”

Hopefully, yours truly will someday attend a Mobile World Congress conference, and write a column about it from Barcelona.

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