Mobile World Congress Americas 2017 event report

The cellular industry sometimes uses a mantra “Build it and they will come”. It certainly felt that way at the Moscone Centre which was undergoing some serious expansion last week – the noise of piledriving next door was hard to miss. This was the first MWC Americas since the GSMA had taken over organising it from CTIA, and there were many other changes to the format and content apart from the major building work.

The guiding hand and experience of the GSMA conference organisers was clearly visible compared to my previous trip to CTIA a few years ago but I expect it will take another couple of years before the event can truly establish itself as the leading mobile event in North America. Attendance of 21,000 was lower than the 30,000 hoped for. I viewed this very much as US centric with relatively little on LATAM despite real-time translation into Spanish and Portuguese.

The venue itself is split across three different buildings and several floors, with multiple entrances. Although much smaller than the main MWC event in Barcelona, it was quite hard to navigate with limited signage. But as Monica Paolini commented, there wasn’t much point in getting too familiar with the layout since the event is moving to Los Angeles next year.

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