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  • Writer's pictureJames Page

Mobile World Congress 2023 – From 4G to 6G and everything in between

Proactive PR arrived in Barcelona on Saturday for Mobile World Congress 2023 glad we’d brought our overcoats as Storm Juliette hit and left the outskirts of the city sprinkled in snow. After a day’s filming with a client on Sunday, we joined the crowds heading for the exhibition halls on Monday morning. It was immediately clear that the event was back and attendance swelled across the week until peaking on Wednesday when walking between the seven halls became a trudge and finding somewhere to sit for a coffee or lunch became a serious undertaking.

This seemed especially true after my experience at Mobile World Congress 2022. Last year’s show was the first back after Covid and my first experience of this landmark event in the telecommunications calendar. It felt like a busy, if widely spread out, event and I was taken aback by the scale and design of many of the stands or ‘pavilions’ built by the sector’s larger players. But everyone I met during and after the event told me that it was nowhere near as full (understandably) as it had been in previous years. The big question on everyone’s lips ahead of the 2023 event was whether the show would be back to its pre-Covid pomp. The answer was a massive ‘yes’.

Officially, there were more than 88,500 visitors over the four days from more than 190 different countries with more than 2,400 industry analysts and journalists boosting attendance numbers and spreading the word about the hardware and software on display.

While folding smartphones and 3D imagery were prevalent from a hardware perspective, it was moving from 5G to 5.5G and onto 6G that was a key discussion when conversations turned to systems and networks. (I would also have liked to have found out more about Huawei’s ‘virtual human’ service but there just wasn’t enough time!)

Top topics

While making 4G work globally and maximising the benefits of 5G are still key topics, rolling out infrastructure that can futureproof networks for the jump to 6G was spoken about by industry leaders from several of the major firms across the exhibition. What was striking was how many players were keen to establish and maintain their environmental credentials at the same time as showing their technological advancements.

Less clear was whether reducing the energy consumption of devices, antennas, data centres and cables was the intention – or a happy accident resulting from design and manufacturing processes aiming to simplify products and services offered across portfolios, which also can have the added benefit of reducing costs too. Alongside simplification, intelligence and AI are also technologies being used to improve services and environmental performance. Software that can automatically adjust to power requirements and control flows across mobile towers, for example, featured on several stands.

Cutting through the noise

The buzz was definitely back, and we were grateful to have been able to work with several clients across the week, supporting them to get their voice heard during a crowded week by creating compelling content across all platforms to get their messages across. Achieving cut-through at such a busy event means being creative and getting attention quickly, which is why so many clients turn to video to form part of their outreach strategies – something Proactive PR has been known for delivering for many years.

If you would like to know how we can help gain your share of voice at your next event, please get in touch.


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