GSMA picks Barcelona to host Mobile World Congress through 2018

The GSMA selected Barcelona, Spain, as the host city for the Mobile World Congress trade show through 2018, ensuring that the Catalonian hotspot will remain the mecca for the industry's largest trade show for years to come.

Barcelona will continue to host the Mobile World Congress trade show.

Barcelona beat out finalists Milan, Munich and Paris for the host spot, and the GSMA said that besides hosting the conference, the city will also develop a range of other programs and activities that will span the entire year.

"We are thrilled to announce that Barcelona will be the Mobile World Capital for the next seven years," GSMA CEO John Hoffman said in a statement. "All of the cities who competed for this title presented extremely innovative and compelling bids, but in the end, Barcelona truly demonstrated that it deserves the title of the Mobile World Capital, with its combination of outstanding exhibition and conference facilities, its transportation and hospitality infrastructure, its commitment to expanding the reach of mobility throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, and the strong support of the public and private sectors. This is an exciting time for Barcelona and for the mobile industry as a whole."

In a statement, the GSMA said the selection was based on many criteria and took into consideration all aspects of what the host cities can offer. The GSMA said the 18-month process started with 30 cities. In August 2010, the trade group narrowed it down to six--Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cologne, Milan, Munich and Paris--before whittling it down to four cities.

The trade show has been held in Barcelona since 2006, when it was still called 3GSM World Congress. Before that, the show, which regularly draws close to 50,000 attendees, was held in Cannes. The show remains a hotspot for wireless players all over the world, particularly those based in Europe. In recent years, the Consumer Electronics Show in the United States has taken on greater prominence in the pantheon of wireless trade shows.

For more:
- see this release
- see Fierce's coverage of the 2011 MWC

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