LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: The GSMA Mobile Asia Expo is celebrating its third visit to Shanghai by promising more attendees than before, as the organisers released new research highlighting Asia has moved to occupy centre stage in the mobile economy.

Numbers at this year’s event are slated to be more than 24,000, up from last year’s rollcall that was in excess of 20,000 attendees.

The new GSMA report brings home how the Asia Pacific region lays claim to leadership in the mobile market – half of the world’s 3.4 billion global mobile subscribers at the end of 2013 resided in the region.

And the upward trajectory will continue as the region’s subscribers are slated to grow at 5.5 per cent per year on a CAGR basis until 2020, by which time the subscriber count will reach 2.4 billion.

And the largest market, of course, is China, where the report estimates that 80 per cent of the country’s 600 million internet users are going online via a mobile device.

John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Limited, said the organisation had recognised how Asia had become the largest mobile region in the world. “We wanted to be present in the region and evaluated where the home of technology was. We decided it was in Shanghai.”

Chinese companies will be well represented at the event by speakers including the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE.

“We know this is a hub and the world’s largest market. We are committed to spending time in China, learning from its growth and contributing to it,” said Michael O’Hara, the GSMA’s chief marketing officer.

Other highlights at this week’s show will include the Connected City exhibition that showcases how mobile technology can transform urban living. The exhibition was a big feature of last year’s show and is back with new additions.

New to the event is the Showcase Stage, which is intended to draw the ‘prosumer’ crowd. Centre of the event will be Jane Zhang, a pop star in China who will talk about her use of mobile and social media.

Other events include App Planet, Innovation Labs, and partner events such as GTI and the International MVNO Summit.

Another newcomer is the Global Device Summit, which will include some top execs including Foxconn’s Terry Guo, a superstar in his home country.

Also present is the Wearable Device Summit and the Digital Commerce Summit.

“We are very, very excited about the coming three days,” said Hoffman.