Mobile News

MWC Barcelona 2024 Event Guide

  • A week before MWC Barcelona 2024, Spiceworks News & Insights looks at the most exciting prospects from the premier mobile tech event.
  • MWC Barcelona 2024 will have more than 335 sessions from industry experts and hundreds of product launches and exhibitions. The conference will also feature a startup competition.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024 will kick off next week. In its three-and-a-half decade-plus history, the event has evolved as the premier testing ground for avant-garde mobile technologies.

According to Pew Research, mobile tech’s phenomenal evolution and rise has made smartphones, or the humble cellphone, a mainstay of more than 90% of Americans in 2023. Moreover, 17% of U.S. adults do not use broadband at home but own smartphones.

On the enterprise front, Aberdeen Strategy & Research’s “State of IT Spend in 2024: How Does Your Organization Compare?” noted organizations will spend between 0.7% and 18.6% (mean 7.7%) of their total IT budgets on telecommunications.

Even as the commercial prospects in mobile tech look promising, MWC Barcelona allows companies, including enterprises and startups, to showcase their innovations. However, some more prominent mobile companies do not or no longer rely on the prestige of conferences and instead choose to introduce products at dedicated launch events.

This allows the likes of Apple (notably absent from MWC Barcelona 2024), Google, and others to cut through the chaos and not grab the limelight. However, the event is still expected to be a mobile tech spectacle offering a treasure trove of networking, funding, demonstration, and learning opportunities.

When and Where Is MWC Barcelona 2024?

MWC Barcelona 2024 is an in-person event scheduled to begin on February 26 and run for four days until February 29, 2024. The grand mobile conference will be hosted at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.

Since hitting a high of more than 109,000 attendees half a decade ago in what most event organizers remember as the pre-COVID peak of 2019, the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) canceled MWC Barcelona 2020, restricted a postponed MWC Barcelona 2021 to 50,000 attendees, saw a 20% yearly growth in attendees in 2022 to nearly 60,000, and further revived the numbers to approximately 88,500 at MWC Barcelona 2023.

This year, GSMA expects 90,000 attendees, including technology providers and vendors in mobile operations, device manufacturing, networking and telecommunications, and more.

What to See at MWC Barcelona 2024?

1. 4YFN

4YFN, MWC Barcelona’s partner event focusing on startups, is in its 10th year, and to celebrate, GSMA promises a bigger, better show that encompasses the following six themes:

  • The Age of AI
  • Growth
  • Startup Funding
  • Corporate Innovation
  • Art of Innovation
  • Decentralisation and Beyond

This niche event promises early-stage innovations and potential disruptors an introduction with investors and venture capitalists, their potential target customers, and collaborators and offers a chance to promote innovations.

Don’t miss the pitch battles and the 4YFN award ceremony, where the top 50 startups, the top 4 finalists, and the winner take home different prizes.

See More: Show Me the Data: Aberdeen Experts Talk IT Spending in New Spotlight Series Meetup

2. Product launches

Even though the bigwigs have resorted to an in-house launch party, expect the introduction of multiple smartphones. Motorola should ideally debut its next folding phone (Motorola Razr+) while Nothing Technology’s Carl Pei takes on its former venture, OnePlus’ mid-range dominance with Nothing Phone 2A. The device is fashioned as a lower-priced alternative akin to the Pixel series and is expected on March 5.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s Honor (Magic 6 Series and Magic V2 Series), Nokia, Xiaomi (14 series), and others should have respective wares on display. Tecno is bringing smartphones, AI, augmented reality, and AIoT devices.

OnePlus will arrive at MWC Barcelona 2024 hot off the wheels of the OnePlus 12 and 12R launch, which is why the company can expand its wearable lineup, possibly with the OnePlus Watch 2.

Samsung fans may expect a sneak peek at the Galaxy Ring at MWC Barcelona 2024. However, it is improbable that the Korean electronics giant will reveal any details after the surprise teaser during Galaxy Unpacked 2024 last month. Samsung executives will also share the company’s strategic vision at the ‘Samsung Mobile Business Summit 2024 – Innovative. Intelligent. Insightful.’

Beyond smartphones, Intel said it will bring Core Ultra processors and AI PCs to MWC Barcelona 2024.

3. Exhibitions

In 2023, over 2,400 companies exhibited their innovations at the event across several categories. At MWC Barcelona 2024, GSMA has deemed three of its four exhibition features “must-see.”

Journey to the Future explores how mobile tech is altering upcoming industries and communities. It includes the Alef Aeronautics’ U.S. Federal Aviation Administration-approved all-electric flying car, Cortical Labs’ brain cell-based chips, ISDIN’s UV-cameras, Mossos d’Esquadra’s AI-powered drone, Hovering Solutions’s flying robots for underground mapping, and more.

Alef Aeronautics Flying CarAlef Aeronautics Flying Car

Alef Aeronautics’ Flying Car To Be Displayed at MWX Barcelona 2024

Source: Alef Aeronautics, GSMA

Digital Planet engages application, ad tech, ecommerce, and marketing communication professionals, while Pavilions offers a glimpse into country or region-specific innovations brought to MWC Barcelona 2024.

Additionally, Connected Industries offers a view of digital transformation-enabled Industry 4.0 in manufacturing, smart mobility, sports and entertainment, fintech, and ecommerce.

4. Keynotes

MWC Barcelona 2024 will feature over 335 sessions, including nine keynote addresses. Here’s a rundown of all nine keynotes:


Speakers Time and Date


Open Gateway – The Art of What’s Possible

• José María Álvarez-Pallete, chairman & CEO, Telefónica

• Margherita Della Valle, group CEO, Vodafone Group

• Jie Yang, chairman, China Mobile

• Nick Venezia, founder & chief data officer, Centillion.AI

• Christel Heydemann, CEO, Orange

09:30 – 10:45 CET (03:30 – 04:45 AM EST) on February 26


The Digital Vision for Telcos

• Frehiwot Tamru, CEO, Ethio Telecom

• Vicki Brady, CEO, Telstra Group Limited

• Kaan Terzioglu, group CEO, VEON

• Tim Hoettges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG

• Mike Fries, CEO, Liberty Global

11:30 – 12:30 CET (05:30 AM – 06:30 AM EST) on February 26

Digital Transformation

Our AI Future

• Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind

• Steven Levy, journalist and author

15:15 – 15:45 CET (09:15 AM – 09:45 EST) o February 26


Europe’s New Horizons

• José María Álvarez-Pallete, chairman & CEO, Telefónica

• Margherita Della Valle, group CEO, Vodafone Group

• Christel Heydemann, CEO, Orange

• Tim Hoettges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG

16:30 – 17:00 CET (10:30 – 11:00 EST) on February 26


New Strategies For a New Era

• Michael Dell, chairman & CEO, Dell Technologies

• Brad Smith, vice chair & president, Microsoft

17:30 – 18:15 CET (11:30 – 12:15 EST) on February 26

AI and Telecom

Society First

• Derrick Ashong, CEO, TBTM (Take Back the Media)

• Katarina Mellstrom, secretary general, Global Child Forum

• Tayma Abdalhadi, Generation Connect- Arab Youth Envoy, ITU

• Sigve Brekke, president & CEO, Telenor Group

• Halla Tomasdottir, CEO, The B Team

09:30 – 11:00 CET (03:30 – 05:00 EST) on February 27

Advanced Skills – Development

Powering the Future

• Antonio Neri, president & CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

• Peng Li, president, ICT Sales & Service, Huawei

• Rami Rahim, CEO, Juniper Networks

12:00 – 13:00 CET (06:00 – 07:00 EST) on February 27

5G Advanced

A New Era of Intelligence

• Aviv Shapira, CEO & Co-Founder, XTEND

• Matteo Shapira, CXO, XTEND

• Ilana Wisby, CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits

09:30 – 10:45 CET (03:00 – 04:45 EST) on February 28

AI and Networking

Partners to Game Changers

• Jim Dukhovny, CEO, Alef Aeronautics

• Sunny Lu, CEO, VeChain

• Prof. Sir Konstantin Novoselov, professor, National University of Singapore

12:00 – 13:00 CET (06:00 – 07:00 EST) on February 28

Tech Innovation

What are you looking forward to at MWC Barcelona 2024? Share with us on LinkedInOpens a new window