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MWC 2024: What to Expect

With 60,000 participants, 2022 witnessed a partial comeback; however, attendance increased to 88,500 last year, and a comparable number is predicted for MWC 2024.

Mobile World Congress (MWC)

Around 85,000 people are expected to attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 in the Fira de Barcelona in a little more than a week, from February 26 to 29. MWC has developed into a significant gathering place for the mobile sector over the years, bringing together telecoms, tech vendors, phone makers, journalists, and analysts to talk about market trends and predictions for the upcoming year.

Challenges and Recovery Over Past Years

But just like a lot of other significant live events, MWC has had difficulties recently. COVID-19’s effects resulted in edition cancellations and reductions. The 2020 event was canceled by the GSM Association (GMA), and attendance declined in the years that followed. With 60,000 participants, 2022 witnessed a partial comeback; however, attendance increased to 88,500 last year, and a comparable number is predicted for 2024.

Even with the slow comeback, determining MWC’s current significance to the industry is difficult. The landscape of trade shows in the tech industry has been impacted by macrotrends like the migration to digital platforms and the presence of large vendors staging standalone events. Notably, to deflect attention from MWC, big players like Samsung increasingly choose to make their flagship announcements independently between CES and MWC.

Unlike the rise at CES, smaller businesses have not fully made up for the absence of major industry giants. Although it is not as well-known as MWC, 4FYN (Four Years From Now), an event specifically for entrepreneurs, runs concurrently with the main event. However, MWC gives participating companies a platform for innovation and visibility to a sizable and active audience.

4FYN at MWC 2024: Igniting Startup Sparks

Startup participation at MWC is noteworthy thanks to events like 4FYN, which is similar to CES’ Eureka Park and features a wide range of startups. This concurrent event makes it possible to examine developing companies more closely that could otherwise go overlooked. European startups are not the only ones that participate in MWC, but their close proximity frequently leads to a higher representation.

MWC 2024 is expected to see a continuation of the trend toward wearables with a health focus, investigating more modern form factors such as smart rings. Given Qualcomm’s dedication to augmented and virtual reality and Apple‘s recent announcement of the Vision Pro, head-worn displays and AR/VR devices are predicted to attract more attention. Lenovo/Motorola’s specialty, concept gadgets, are probably going to be heavily featured, with their creative form factors.

Excitement for the event is increased by rumors of launches such as the OnePlus Watch 2 and Nothing’s mid-tier 2a device. One of the main themes will be the widespread use of AI applications, with both common and unusual uses anticipated. There will probably be robots from European firms, since there have been rumors of a Xiaomi vehicle reveal.

Telecom Focus and Early 6G Discussions

For telecom corporations, MWC is still a big deal, and discussions over 6G have already started. Since there is currently no established standard and compatible devices are still years away, it is imperative to acknowledge that we are still in the early stages of development. As it gradually recovers, Huawei is anticipated to provide insights on 6G and other industry advancements.

Following Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi is now the newest wireless standard and will be a major feature of MWC 2024. There’s excitement building as the event draws near for the wide range of advancements and technologies that will influence talks and announcements at one of the most important conferences for the mobile industry. 

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