MWC @ Barcelona – down, but not out!

Hi folks!

And now, after yesterday’s mostly miserable post, a positive one!…

This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona actually went ahead! Hurray!

And I was there in person! Hurray!

And I spoke up on stage! Hurray!

And I gave a slew of interviews to international media! Hurray!

And some ‘fans’ of mine asked for autographs selfies! Grrr. Joke!

Last year, being all 2020, MWC was cancelled. The world’s largest mobile event just didn’t happen; imagine?!

This year – despite the lingering 2020ness (still some closed borders, plenty of restrictions still in place, traveling difficulties, and the conservative conduct of many companies) – the show went on, as it must!

Btw, the international press were, of course, all over this year’s event’s taking place, and most of it’s as positive as this post you’re reading now. Example; oh – and check out the first pic in that article ).

Sure, the show ‘went on’. But naturally it wasn’t like pre-covid times. First, it took place in ~half the space as usual. Perhaps to make up for that, the stands were very spacious. The spaces among the stands were also much bigger than normal ->

National stands featured large: of course Spain’s was a biggie. Just opposite it was Catalonia’s own stand. There was also an Italian stand, a South Korean one, and others. Meanwhile industrial giants like the Samsungs of this world weren’t in attendance at all.

The customary huge crowds at MWC were also absent. I reckon there were five times fewer folks than usual. Just to compare, here’s how things were back in 2017.

Sure, MWC was a shadow of its former self; but a shadow’s better than nothing! Given the global circumstances – it’s most encouraging. I was so upbeat about it all I went walkabout the day before it opened – before some of the stands were ready ->

‘Keynote Stage’ – yep: that’s where I’d be speaking the following day…

And here’s us. All green and slick and futuro-coolio. Nice!

Woah. A ‘Moscow’ stand. Not ‘Russia’?! Curiously intriguing. Will have to drop by tomorrow…

Fast forward a dozen or so hours, and here’s how things were looking on the first day of the event ->

Nice that they put down carpeting ).

Lots of open space, few visitors, but not empty…

Quite busy in some places…

Oh my goodness – a crowd! I’d forgotten about them ).

The greenest stand in the place ->

Just opposite us – a Chinese company from… Wuhan! Yes – that Wuhan. And yes, the witty cheeky & non-PC jokes about computer and other types of viruses were coming in thick and fast throughout the day ).

Here – startup corner. Plenty of investors on walkabout looking for the next big thing…

In short – a very ‘correct’ event. How it should be done…

And here’s the Moscow stand:

I never did get to find out quite what exactly was being promoted on the stand. But the techy installations were actually quite fun:

Next it was time for me to get up on stage for my talk – on vulnerabilities in cyberspace in general, and in critical infrastructure in particular ->

And that’s all from MWC-2021. Here’s looking forward to a bigger, busier MWC-2022!…

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