All is set for this year's GMSA Mobile World Congress (MWC), which is expected to host more than 101,000 participants from over 200 counties, including Ghana.
Mobile World Congress is the arguably the biggest annual global event that showcases the latest innovations in mobile technology in terms of products and services from all over the world.
Every company and person who matter in the global mobile technology industry will be at the MWC.
Under the theme "The Next Element", the four-day event, slated for February 27 to March 2, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, would also host more than 2,200 exhibitors, 160 delegations and 3,900 media personality.
Out of the estimated numbers, 64 per cent are expected from Europe, 15 per cent from Asia, 12 per cent from United States of America, four per cent from the Middle East, three per cent from the Americas and only two per cent from Africa.
Part of the delegations from Ghana include one led by a Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu Ekuful and new National Communications Authority Boss, Joseph Anokye.
MWC has a record of being described by a whopping 74 per cent of attendees as the most relevant event in the mobile industry and by an overwhelming 84 per cent as the most important industry event in the world.
Indeed, the significance of the event flows from the impact of the industry itself on the global economy.
According to the GSMA, in 2016 alone, the mobile technology industry generated 4.2 per cent of global GDP, being US$3.1trillion; contributed US$430billion to public funds and currently employs 32million people globally.
Additionally, the industry is expected to invest an estimated US$900billion as capital expenditure between now and 2020.
Some of the key highlights of this year's MWC would be the Youth Mobile (YoMo) Festival, Women for Technology (W4Tech) forum, Four Years from Now (4YFN) forum and many more.
The GSMA’s Women4Tech programme focuses on successfully addressing gender equality and gender diversity in the technology sector to build and strengthen professional communities and networks.
Over the four days of Mobile World Congress, Women4Tech events and activities will give attendees – women and men – insights into best practices and industry action for female leadership in the digital age.
At the Women4Tech Summit, senior-level speakers, from companies such as Accenture (main sponsor), Bharti Airtel, CNN, European Commission, Facebook, Google, IFC (Worldbank), LInkedin, SAP, Turner, Twitter, and others, will discuss integrating gender equality into the mainstream of our work environments and share strategic advice on how to empower gender diversity in mobile and related industries.
One of the industry women listed to speak at the Women4Tech summit is Ghana's own Lucy Quist, who is the CEO of Airtel Ghana.
Women4Tech supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality).
Youth Mobile Festival
MWC this year, will also welcome some 16,000 children aged 10-16 from across Spain and parts of the world in Youth Mobile (YoMo) Festival, which will showcase opportunities in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/design, math) ecosystem.
"YoMo Barcelona has been created to inspire young people to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math (STEAM) disciplines,"
As part of the newly launched YoMo, the GSMA and the Mobile World Capital Barcelona announced a new event, the IED Barcelona Fashion Tech Show ‘ECOcyborg’, which will showcase the future of fashion.
During the four days, wearable technology designed by IED students will be displayed in live art performances that will take place twice a day at 11:30 and 12:30 in the YoMo Theatre at Fira Montjuïc.
The Four Year From Now (4YFN) is reputed as the fastest growing digital startup event in the world. It is designed to grow global tech startup community, create lasting connections among startups, investors and corporations during the GSMA Mobile World Congress Barcelona.
The key themes to feature at this year's 4YFN include Disrupted by Mobile, Internet of Things, and Digital Media among other.
The forum therefore promotes interaction between participants, and this year, it has launched a matchmaking App called ‘4YFNetwork’.
The app will be used for the first time to bring entrepreneurs closer to potential corporate partners and investors. Additional networking opportunities this year include specialised sector networking for start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporations and potential clients within the ‘Founders and Investors’ area.
There would also be Start-up Pitching Sessions, Investor Meetings and Industry Networking Sessions as part of 4YFN.
It will also host more than 100 talks by more than 270 industry leaders including speakers, and also host some very key investors from around the world.
This year's 4YFN zone alone is expected to attract 20,000 attendees, 500 investors and some 600 exhibitors.
The MMIX Summit will explore the exploding global demand for multi-screen media and entertainment and the unprecedented pace of innovation and disruption shaking up the market today.
It will also explore live interactive and immersive original content and will bring disruptive platforms, strategies, technologies and partnerships to the fore, with sessions from leading sports, media and entertainment players, including: Live Nation, BT Sport, Active, All3Media, ATC Management, CCS Insight, EE, Eurosport/Discovery, Google, Jukin Media, Mubi, Swisscom Media & Event Solutions, Sixty, Telstra and YouTube, and The All England Lawn Tennis Club among others.
MWC will also feature the usual the GSMA’s prestigious three-day Ministerial Programme, which draws together the world’s most influential telecommunication leaders to share ideas and debate in pursuit of connecting everyone and everything to a better future. The event will be held 27 February – 1 March 2017 at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona
Beside these main features, the GSMA would also host a range of seminars designed to provide insights and updates on key GSMA and industry initiatives. GSMA seminars are held across all four days of Mobile World Congress and will focus on topics such as Mobile Connect, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile for Development, Privacy, eSIM, and GSMA Marketplace.
MWC would also feature engaging exhibits, several interactive workshops, live theatre shows, hands-on activities and also have the latest programmes and resources for mEducation, mHealth, mCommence, mSecurity and many more.
Ahead of the event, several exhibitors have making contacts with journalists around the work for interview opportunities with the bid to pitch themselves for business opportunities in regions where the various journalists do their work.
A key feature of MWC every year is three NextTech which showcases cutting-edge technology trends. This year that will include Drone Zone, Graphene Experience Zone, IoT Pavilion and a NEXTech Pavilion.
But MWC2017 will not end without the prestigious Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards, designed to reward the best of the best in cutting edge mobile technology innovation.