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  • Thierry Spanjaard

B2B: Back to Barcelona!

The Mobile World Congress is back! The industry is back! Some may remember the MWC was the first major event to be canceled in 2020 at the beginning of the Covid crisis. All participants now try to remember how things were in 2019 to make comparisons.

The industry is glad to be meeting again, our usual suspects are all here, Thales, Idemia, Giesecke & Devrient, although some of them have reduced the means allocated for the MWC to the extent of only having meeting rooms. Numerous smaller companies that take part in our secure transactions industry ecosystem are here too: those who care for IC testing, facial recognition, test robots, software security, automats, workers monitoring and a lot more topics are here!

The buzzwords of the time are 6G, as 5G is so outmoded, cybersecurity is still at the core of everyone concerns, IoT is everywhere, ... and the metaverse is not yet here. The world of telecoms is also sensitive to major society changes, inclusion, gender equity, privacy, inclusion, sustainable development and ecological concerns on one everyone's speeches and on every booth panels. On the other hand, visiting the MWC is a great way to measure technology evolutions: the buzzwords of the past, such as eSIM, NFC, mobile payments or cloud computing now represent mature technologies everyone integrates but are not in communcation fashion anymore.

At the same time, we all look for missing exhibitors. Some have significantly reduced their size - read their expenses - in face of uncertainty and travel restrictions. The huge booths of Huawei, ZTE, and others that were occupying a full exhibition hall are gone. Unsurprisingly, the GSMA just announced the Russian pavilion had been banned from participating in the event.

People's relations have evolved too! No kisses this year, handshaking is either nonexistent or a bit reluctant, distances are imposed in conference rooms, and FFP2 masks are worn everywhere. Some participants are so happy to be back here, they even say the food on the Fira has improved!

Even if enthusiasm is here, nothing will ever be the same again.

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