LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI 2017: More than 65,000 people are expected to attend Mobile World Congress Shanghai (MWCS) 2017 to learn about the latest industry developments and innovations on show from 600 companies.
“The show has grown incredibly over the last six years and in that time, exciting companies from Asia, and China in particular, continue to take a leading role in the development of our industry,” GSMA CMO Michael O’Hara told Mobile World Live, referring to the first running of the event in Shanghai in 2012.
Emphasising the importance of MWCS, the 2017 event is the GSMA’s biggest in the city to date and incorporates a number of new features: “First, the event overall has expanded to four days from three last year, and the conference has also been extended to three days from two.”
“We have moved the conference to the SNIEC, and it is now located in the same hall as the GSMA Innovation city,” O’Hara said, explaining the exhibition now comprises “Experience Halls” and “Industry Halls”.
Attendees visiting the Experience Halls can learn about the latest innovations covering mobile devices, health and fitness industries, mixed reality services for the home, sporting technology, and VR and AR in dedicated zones. The Industry Halls, meanwhile, feature the Innovation City, which offers visitors first-hand insight into “how mobile-connected products and services are improving the lives of citizens, enterprises and governments in Asia and around the world, with immersive, cutting-edge, demonstrations covering industry sectors such as retail, transport, automotive and more.”
MWCS 2017 will also see the GSMA launch the first Chinese-language version of its SDG in Action app, which aims to raise awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals designed to end extreme poverty and inequality, and limit global climate change by 2030.
SDG in Action is an augmented reality game available for iOS and Android smartphones, which encourages attendees to collect SDG ‘goals’ from various targets situated throughout the venue halls and so learn more about the UN programme.
There are two Zeiss VR One Plus headsets up for grabs daily for the winners, who will be picked at random.
O’Hara said the app is not the only fun element attendees of MWCS 2017 can enjoy. Showgoers also have the chance to see the “world’s leading drone pilots go head-to-head in the Drone Racing Competition, as well as the top professional all-female leagues battling in the Mobile Gaming Tournament”.
The Youth Mobile Festival (YoMo) is back for its second year at MWCS, offering “about 15,000 young people and families” the chance to experience “interactive exhibits, workshops and hands-on activities bringing technology to life”, O’Hara said.
All of those exhibitions, apps and events form part of the broader theme for MWCS 2017: The Human Element. O’Hara said the naming reflects the consumer-focus of the Shanghai event, while building on The Next Element focus of the previous MWC event in Barcelona during February.
The focus of MWCS 2017 highlights how “mobile is elemental to every new innovation”, which is evident in how the industry has already transformed vertical industries including “health, utilities, consumer electronics and transportation”, O’Hara explained.
“Operators are, by definition, at the centre of that transition and exhibits like the GSMA Innovation City allow us to showcase the exciting work we are doing,” O’Hara said.