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  • Sahriar Shuva

Telecom bosses under one roof in the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona

Due to the pandemic, many events were postponed. But as the world is recovering, telecommunication companies are coming together to share the progression and efforts made during these uncertain times. Though we saw less shiny things and more important ones, it is necessary to highlight the technological achievements nonetheless.



Telecommunication and overall digital communication medium played a vital role in dire times. Mobile World Congress cancelled last year due to COVID-19. But this year, it took place in Barcelona with precautions.


Last Monday, in Barcelona, the global reboot of digital development successfully took place. The event generally hosts at least 100,000 people each year. But this time around, the event took place as a hybrid format get together. 30,000 visitors attended the 2021 event, but under Covid-19 restrictions.


Telecom bosses came together under one roof to share achievements, collaboration and future ideas with the world. Telecommunication is a vital part and the pandemic pointed how it influences our life. Of course, people with the latest technology are ensured to get the best connectivity, but those who are not should also be included. And this number can pile up to billions.



The event was cancelled at the last minute due to covid and so the head of GSMA industry association Mats Granryd said “We are back to business, back to Barcelona and back together”. The industry hosts the region’s largest telecommunication get-together. At the Catalan capita’s Fira trade fairground, the event took place.


Though it was a smaller gathering than usual, the virtual event took place and tech CEOs joined the conference via video chat. SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, Danielle Royston, CEO of TElcoDR also joined and shared motivation for future communication dependency. As much as we improved, roughly half the world’s population still does not have internet access. The number can be as high as 3.7 billion. Pandemic amplified connectivity and had a transformative effect on our lives. SpaceX is not just building rockets anymore, Starlink has the worlds most advanced broadband internet system. In remote areas where it is yet not possible to establish cell towers, Starlink reaches out and provides high-speed connectivity. Mobile technology truly transformed our lives. Compared to 10 years back, mobile connectivity transformed our way of working and communicating. But we demand more. Greater speed, remote area access and embracing digital times.


Spanish authority put out a green signal for The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in May. It is the biggest annual gathering of the industry Mats Granryd, GSMA director general said “when we speak to the exhibitors, some are very hesitant.” He also said some are no coming due to travel policy. And as a further note, where generally companies send out 250 people to join, they just sent 5.


Among these five, companies CEOs, CFO and CTOs joined. Though the event moved online, both digital forms and physical gatherings took place. During 2019 MWC Barcelona, more than 2,400 leading-edge technology companies joined. They shared the impact of 5G, RCS and Network Economics around the world. It hosted, 107,000+ attendees, 400+ operator companies, 10,000+ operator attendees and 208 representative countries.


To cope with high debt and weak revenues, social credit should be capitalised on. Jose-Maris Alvarez-Pllete, CEO at Telefonica said “Data cannot be extricated without compensations – it’s called digital dignity.” And it is very true. Orange CEO, Stephane Richard and GSMA Chairman in a keynote “For too long progress in technology meant only advertisement at any cost.” But an equivalent future is what we should move towards.


Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung stayed away from this year’s event. But everyone is hopeful when the world recovers, everyone will be here at their own will. Telcos are betting high hope towards 5G and at the MWC event, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and network operation of mobile and broadband was discussed heavily. China Mobile Chairman, Yang Jie joined via video link “In China, 5G is on the fast track of development.” He informed everyone of nearly 850,000 5G base station deployments and 330 million users already has 5G enabled devices. It may succeed as half of China’s digital economy’s growth in GDP by 2025. As generally world relies on big decisions of communication providers, we hope the event brought decisions further.

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