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MWC Barcelona is back!

Do you remember the days when you couldn’t assume someone had a cellphone – you had to ask?

Yeah, me either.

Assuming everyone in Spain has a cellphone is a pretty safe bet: the latest data indicates Spain is the world leader in cellphone users, with 88% of the population calling themselves the proud owner of a mobile phone.

MWC Barcelona

Those who say that our cellphones have become an extension of our bodies are not joking. Spaniards spend 61 hours a week on their mobile devices – in other words, more than two and a half full days.

As you can imagine, the mobile industry in Spain is bustling.

Spain, a mobile world leader

Spain has the second most-developed mobile market (exceeded only by Scandinavia), with mobile carrier companies bringing in around 7 billion €, the mobile gaming market reaching 1.6 billion €, and the application development industry estimated at 1 billion €. To keep all its mobile users happy, Spain has the fastest the mobile grid in the world, with an average speed of 18 Mbps, although Orange customers in major cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia) have a 400 Mbps network.

Spain’s dominance in the mobile industry is encouraging growth in other areas: in 2017, investment in tech startups in Spain rose 45%. Similarly, growth in venture capital investments grew 650 million € between 2013 and 2017.

Mobile World Congress: largest mobile event in the world

It should come as no surprise that Spain, as leaders of the mobile industry, hosts the largest mobile event in the world: MWC Barcelona, formerly known as Mobile World Congress. This event showcases the latest in technology and innovation from over 2,400 companies, including conferences, seminars, summits, and partner-led programs. This year’s theme is “Intelligent Connectivity” and will touch on hot topics like big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). Sponsored by GSMA, the event brings in attendees from more than 200 countries, nearly 60% of whom are senior-level business executives. (Can you say networking?!)

Aside from the revenue generated from tourism (which translated to 471 million € in 2018), MWC Barcelona reminds the world that Spain is “more than a country of sun and sand”. Spain looks poised to position itself as the country of “phones and 5G” – although the name might not be quite as catchy.

(Intrigued? You can buy your pass to MWC Barcelona here.)