MWC: A peek inside the mobile mega-event

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Over 100 000 people attend Mobile World Congress every year in Barcelona, Spain.
Over 100 000 people attend Mobile World Congress every year in Barcelona, Spain.

Over 100 000 people attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) every year as the world's mobile technology industry leaders gather under one enormous roof in Barcelona, Spain.

In 2018, over 107 000 people attended the GSMA-run event and similar if not bigger visitor numbers are expected to be reported for the 2019 edition, which took place from 25 to 28 February.

The Fira Gran Via conference venue consists of eight halls filled with stands from technology vendors, manufacturers and start-ups from across the globe showing off the latest in mobile innovation. The venue is 240 000 square meters and certainly feels that big when walking what feels like miles from hall one to hall eight.

The venue is so big that it needs travellators to help people get around faster.

Crowds flood between the halls.
Crowds flood between the halls.

Wondering what the overarching feeling at the venue is? The feeling of being a salmon swimming the wrong way up a river comes to mind.

Crowd control officers sit atop high chairs, making sure delegates behave themselves and walk in a uniform manner.
Crowd control officers sit atop high chairs, making sure delegates behave themselves and walk in a uniform manner.
Battery low? Don't worry; a free charging locker can save the day.
Battery low? Don't worry; a free charging locker can save the day.
This year, 5G was on display everywhere.
This year, 5G was on display everywhere.

There was also some cool tech on show this year, mostly following the 5G theme.

Virtual reality in action at the Saudi Telecom stand.
Virtual reality in action at the Saudi Telecom stand.
A 5G-enabled robot roams around Huawei's booth.
A 5G-enabled robot roams around Huawei's booth.
Fancy a ride in a 5G aerial taxi?
Fancy a ride in a 5G aerial taxi?

South Korean operator, SK Telecom, showcasing its 5G-connected factory robotic solutions.
South Korean operator, SK Telecom, showcasing its 5G-connected factory robotic solutions.

This year's "smartphone wars" were dominated by Huawei and Samsung's new foldable phones.

Samsung's new foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, was heavily guarded as if it was a priceless artwork in a gallery.
Samsung's new foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, was heavily guarded as if it was a priceless artwork in a gallery.
Huawei's own foldable phone, the Mate X, was also under glass so no grubby paws could touch it.
Huawei's own foldable phone, the Mate X, was also under glass so no grubby paws could touch it.

And that's a wrap. See you next year MWC!
And that's a wrap. See you next year MWC!

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