A woman tries VR glasses at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, March 2, 2022. The 2022 edition of the Mobile World Congress opened its doors on Feb. 28, for a four-day event that is expected to host between 40,000 and 60,000 people. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)
This year, the MWC hosts over 1,500 exhibitors from 183 countries at Barcelona between Feb. 28 and March 3 to show the will of the sector to relaunch.
BARCELONA, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Exhibitors and visitors alike are "happy to be back" in Barcelona for the ongoing 2022 Mobile World Congress (MWC22) after the previous two editions of the world's largest exhibition and conference for the mobile industry had to be canceled (in 2020) and then scaled down (in 2021) because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the MWC hosts over 1,500 exhibitors from 183 countries at Barcelona between Feb.28 and March 3 to show the will of the sector to relaunch.
"We're all back here and everyone is really happy to discuss and explain the new technology and what's been happening in the last two years and how they faced the challenges," a visitor, Gaelle Bezain, told Xinhua.
The exhibitors include many of the mobile tech industry's heavyweights, among them Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm, ZTE, Xiaomi and AT&T.
People visit the exhibition area of Xiaomi during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on March 1, 2022. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)
STL is an industry-leading integrator of digital networks from India with manufacturing and development bases around the world. Its Chief Marketing Officer, Manish Sinha, told Xinhua that being back at the event is "fabulous."
"COVID-19 happened without any of us predicting it but I can see optimism in everyone and we're all kicking to get together and connect the world and make it a better place," he said.
This sentiment was shared by representatives of Tongyu Communication Inc., a leading communications solution provider headquartered in Zhongshan, China. Antenna Solutions Architect Li Haiyang said that the opportunity to be present at the MWC was "very valuable" for his company.
"It's very important to be here because we want to introduce our new technology products to the world and do business," he told Xinhua, adding that his firm was "very optimistic" that the pandemic could reach a turning point soon.
A man stands in front of a poster showing a Huawei's foldable cellphone during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on March 1, 2022. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)
Despite the upbeat mood, GSMA, the industry association that organizes the MWC, projects turnout to remain below 60,000. Before the coronavirus outbreak, each edition of the MWC had upwards of 100,000 visitors. In fact, most people Xinhua spoke noted the smaller crowds.
"It's been a little quieter and calmer than in most years but we get to see people who we haven't met for two or three years, so it's been a great experience," another visitor, Jake Nicolas, said.
The MWC is a veritable treasure trove of cool new tech. Alongside a whole new slate of smartphones and laptops, the event showcases the future of 5G mobile technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT) and driverless vehicles, and serves as a prime networking venue for the sector.
Visitors watch an immersive 360 holographic show at Barcelona Looks Up stand at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, March 2, 2022. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)■