Mobile World Congress 2023

Location: Barcelona, Spain


Patricia Vicente (Director, EMEA) and Jonathan Goodale (Chief Business Development Officer, EMEA) attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.

The event remains the largest Mobile Technology and ‘Connectivity’ gathering globally, and we were particularly focused on meeting businesses across the Mobile Software and Services ecosystem as well as learning more about new innovations and topics occupying decision makers in 2023.  

Below are some of our key takeaways from the event: 

  • Velocity was the conference’s theme this year, a positive message in a time of mixed political and macro factors and signaling that the pace of technological innovation and demand for digital experiences has not been muted.
  • With an estimated 80,000 attendees the event was back to nearing pre-COVID interest levels.
  • Unsurprisingly there was much talk about the Metaverse and Web 3.0, particularly questions around what happens if we do arrive at a consumer adoption tipping point for the technology, and how the current 5G infrastructure will cope.
  • Cue whispers of 6G; the next generation of mobile infrastructure. However, with a planned roll out no sooner than 2030, questions remain as to whether we would logistically be ready for mass Web 3.0 adoption in the near term.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT were also front of mind for many. All players we spoke with, including corporates/brands, tech vendors as well as service providers, are toying with what it means for them. One vendor we spoke with who provides App Store Optimization tools to global brands is looking at using AI/ChatGPT to allow their product to make decisions for customers rather than just prescriptions based on data and analytics. Clearly for this type of tool to work, it relies on customers trusting the technology and it will be fascinating to see how far into decision making AI automation will be allowed to go.
  • The impact of macro and political events on the mobile tech world and its supply chain was more evident than ever this year. S4 Capital’s Chairman and WPP Founder, Sir Martin Sorrell commented on how companies are having to reconsider supply chain and workforce distribution carefully in the face of global political uncertainty.
  • The 4YFN (4 Years From Now) startup arena was full of innovative young businesses alongside earlier stage investors from across the world. The 4YFN Startup Award was won by Spanish employee payment technology provider Payflow whose salary advance platform aims to improve the employee experience and allow financial flexibility for workers through technology.
  • General sentiment was that investment in start-ups is still active but more selective with founders and owners needing to demonstrate they are prepared and ready for investment to differentiate themselves from the crowd.