By Sue Marek
Change can be disconcerting and difficult, but if the end result is positive then the changes are all worthwhile. That is my take on the GSMA's move of its Mobile World Congress trade show from its old venue at the Fira Montjuic to the new Fira Gran Via. Although transportation to the new venue was frustrating, and at times nearly impossible, the extra space and convenience of the new site was a welcome relief for exhibitors and attendees.
And that extra space was necessary: According to the GSMA, 72,000 visitors from 200 countries attended last week's confab, which attracted not only leaders of the world's largest mobile operators, software vendors, handset makers and equipment providers, but also players from such ancillary industries as the automotive, healthcare and financial sectors.
At least 50 percent of this year's attendees were C-level executives and 4,300 were CEOs of wireless companies. More than 1,700 companies exhibited and the exhibit space covered more than 94,000 square meters of space.
On the long flight home from Barcelona, the Fierce editorial team had some time to contemplate the major themes of the show and what they mean to the industry. Some technologies and companies emerged stronger than before. Likewise, some failed to make an impression or communicate their message. Here's a scorecard of the technologies and companies that we think emerged as the winners and losers at last week's event.
P.S. Don't forget to check out our complete coverage of Mobile World Congress at our MWCLive mini site.--Sue