BARCELONA – King Felipe VI of Spain officially opened the 2018 edition of the Mobile World Congress in the northeastern port city of Barcelona on Monday, one of the world’s leading annual gatherings where the latest cellphone technology is put on display and where this year the focus is on the fifth-generation mobile network standard.
King Felipe VI declared the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) congress open amid interest in 5G technology by top corporate executives of mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content providers worldwide.
The keynote speech was given by Telefonica’s president, Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, who called for the telecom industry’s “recognition,” whilst stressing Barcelona was “the best place” to host the congress, considered by many experts to be the world’s biggest and most important such event.
Alvarez-Pallete said the telecommunications industry provided massive investments each year and employed millions of professionals but warned that even larger investments would be needed to finance the required infrastructure even if the sector begins do deflate.
He also called for “values” to build a better future and ensure the digital windfall “flows to all citizens and is shared within an inclusive society, leaving no one behind.”
Barcelona’s suitability for future MWC gatherings had been questioned due to the political instability resulting from Catalonia’s bid for unilateral independence from Spain, a move that was quashed by the country’s judiciary and the central government.