MWC 2024: Capturing Global Spotlight

MWC 2024, the biggest event for mobile tech, was hosted in Barcelona at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via from February 26th to 29th. This year’s event saw an unparalleled participation of over 2,700 entities, including exhibitors, sponsors, and partners. More than 101,000 folks from over 205 places worldwide dropped by, which is way more than the 88,500 who came last time, according to the GSMA, who organizes this, said it was a huge turnout.
This year, the most popular topic in this tremendous event will be AI (Artificial Intelligence). People are interested in how they can effectively integrate AI into their own product development and the impact it will have on their business or industry. Whether they are discussing with their clients or attending an international conference, AI is the topic that dominates conversations. 日本語

Table of Contents

  1. Distinguished Government Participation
  2. Prominence of Chinese Enterprises
  3. New Exhibitor Spotlight: YOFC
  4. Introducing Japan Pavilion
  5. Honoring a Mobile Industry Pioneer

Distinguished Government Participation

MWC 2024 welcomed esteemed guests such as King Felipe VI of Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Chinese Ambassador in Spain, Yao Jing, and Japanese Ambassador in Spain, Takahiro Nakamae, continuing the tradition of high-level participation established in 2023. The event also attracted significant attention from global institutions and media, underscoring the mobile industry’s vital role in economic development and international collaboration.

Prominence of Chinese Enterprises

This year, the presence of Chinese enterprises significantly expanded, with over 300 exhibitors, doubling the previous year’s count. Among them, Huawei stood out with its expansive dedicated booth, embodying the company’s dominant stature in the exhibition. Just like the year before, Huawei took over the whole of Hall 1 for its booth, making it one of the biggest at MWC. They divided the space into distinct sections for the general public and business clients. The welcome desk was staffed by a team flown in directly from China. Huawei also set up an exclusive rest area, quite different from the typical corporate booths, complete with chefs brought in from China. This exclusive zone was strictly for Huawei staff and their clients, ensuring it remained private and out of bounds for regular attendees.

Huawei, along with other notable companies, has again secured several GLOMO awards this year. Consistent with past years, the list of GLOMO Award recipients features prominent firms like Huawei, ZTE, and China Unicom, and SK Telecom. Notably, this year saw first-time winners including Honor (which separated from Huawei in November 2020), Sony, and Samsung. The GLOMO Awards are often likened to the Oscars within the mobile industry, highlighting their prestige and importance.

New Exhibitor Spotlight: YOFC

Yangtze Optical Fiber and Cable (YOFC), a leading optical fiber manufacturer from China, made a notable debut at MWC 2024. Founded in 1988 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, through a collaborative investment among Chinese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the Wuhan Municipal Government, and Philips from the Netherlands, YOFC has grown significantly. At the event, their display in Hall 5 was notably expansive, measuring two to three times the size of a standard exhibition booth.

Visitors from different countries were fascinated by optical fiber, the flagship product of YOFC. Numerous visitors took the opportunity to snap photos with this iconic item.

YOFC made its debut exhibition, and CEO Zhuang Dan was interviewed by CCTV for the first time. (We facilitated the CEO’s interview and managed filming throughout the exhibition period)

CCTV Interview in YOFC

It needs to be mentioned that YOFC has partnered with Shin-Etsu Chemical, a Japanese firm, to create a joint venture in Hubei Province, China in 2015. With the advancement of China’s social infrastructure and a surge in communication data, there’s a growing need for optical fiber. Shin-Etsu Chemical is enhancing its optical fiber preform sales in China, while YOFC aims to increase its production and distribution of optical fibers and cables. This collaboration has culminated in the formation of a joint venture.

Introducing Japan Pavilion

Japan Pavilion“, organized by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and situated in Hall 6, played host to 15 Japanese firms and organizations. Notable telecommunications giants like KDDI, NTT Docomo, Rakuten, NEC, and Fujitsu showcased their innovations independently this year, yet the pavilion itself saw an increase in participants, rising to 15 from last year’s 11. The exhibits were organized into three main categories:

  • Device/Component Technologies for 5G/6G: 8 companies
  • Infrastructures & Network: 4 companies
  • Communication Innovations & Solutions: 3 companies

A standout moment was my visit to Sumitomo Electric’s booth in Osaka, a company at the forefront of developing 5G technology. A staff member showcased their “Analog-RoF” product, an optical transmission device designed for the era of 5G and beyond 5G. It’s notable for its ability to support a broad spectrum of networks with its opto-electronic convergence technology, promising ultra-fast internet speeds for both offices and homes while being compact and energy-efficient. Participating in the Japan Pavilion offers a prime platform for demonstrating Japan’s cutting-edge technological advancements and its significant contributions to the mobile industry.

Hall 6 Japan Pavilion
Sumitomo Electric Industries’s Exhibition Booth

Notably, Sumitomo Electric plays a significant role in the effort to bring the 2025 Osaka Expo to fruition, participating as a key member of the expo’s promotional committee. Moreover, the Sumitomo Group plans to exhibit at “Sumitomokan” in 2025 Osaka Expo.

Honoring a Mobile Industry Pioneer

The surge in the mobile industry can be attributed to the pioneering work of Martin Cooper, the inventor of the mobile phone. His contributions were recognized with the GLOMO “Lifetime Achievement Award” last year. Thanks to continuous technological advancements, mobile phones have become increasingly accessible to a wider audience. It has been fifty years since Cooper made the world’s first successful mobile phone call, a milestone reached on April 3, 2023. Since then, advancements in technology have significantly broadened the accessibility of mobile phones to a larger segment of the population.

Martin Cooper (Source: AP)

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Photographer: Shangjie Ding 
Editorial Director: Shangjie Ding