GSMA leaders outlined the key themes for the upcoming MWC23 in Barcelona, including a wealth of content around sustainability and the flagship event’s first immersive storytelling space.

Speaking at the organisation’s pre-event press conference GSMA director general Mats Granryd (pictured, centre), CMO Lara Dewar (pictured, left) and GSMA Limited CEO John Hoffman (pictured, right) revealed the event is expected to attract 80,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors.

Dewar noted more than half of attendees are expected to come from industries outside of mobile. The total figure of delegates is higher than chiefs at the company initially anticipated for this year, and is up from the 61,000 who attended MWC22.

The central theme this time around is Velocity, with Granryd highlighting the event provided “an unmissable space to unleash tomorrow’s technology, today”.

Content at the show will provide insight to major themes going on in the industry including continued 5G rollout, progress of sustainability efforts and a look at futuristic technology embracing the likes of AR and the metaverse.

New for 2023 is an area Hoffman described as the company’s “first immersive storytelling space” under the brand Journey to the Future. He added it would offer “a unique, experiential, hands-on journey into the future of technology”.

Dewar noted the speaker programme had been put together to “reflect the diversity of the world we live in”. Around 35 per cent will be female speakers with 40 per cent of keynotes representing adjacent industries.

Also set to feature in the Fira Gran Via is annual start-up event 4YFN, Diversity4Tech and the GSMA Ministerial Programme.

Hoffman estimated the event will generate nearly €350 million worth of economic benefit in its host region and 7,400 part-time jobs.

MWC23 Barcelona runs from 27 February to 2 March: for a full preview, join Mobile World Live for its Unwrapped week-long digital event starting 6 February.