MWC will stay in Barcelona until at least 2030

(Image credit: Future)

The GSMA has confirmed Mobile World Congress (MWC) will remain in Barcelona until at least 2030.

The Catalan capital has hosted the industry megaevent since 2006, moving to the current Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue in 2013.

The previous deal was set to expire in 2023 before the two parties agreed a one-year extension to take into account the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

MWC in Barcelona

The final pre-pandemic iteration saw more than 100,000 people visit the show, which is attended by handset vendors, operators, equipment manufacturers, car makers, major IT providers, app developers and anyone with a remote interest in the mobile ecosystem.

Major new smartphones and partnerships are often announced during the week, while hundreds of companies exhibit their wares, and countless meetings and casual catchups take place across the various halls of the Fira.

A summer edition was held in 2021 before returning to its traditional spring-time window earlier this year, attracting 60.000 visitors.

“We are thrilled to announce that MWC will remain in Barcelona through to 2030,” said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA. “Recent global circumstances have created some of the toughest challenges we’ve faced with MWC, and the strength of our partnership with the Host City Parties was a critical element in our being able to bring the show back. 

"In fact, Barcelona is so intertwined in the MWC experience, it’s hard for me to think about one and not the other.”

“Barcelona is so much more than the city where MWC occurs,” added John Hoffman, chief executive of the GSMA. “We’ve not just grown the event since our move to Barcelona but evolved it to include an entire ecosystem. The hospitality and people of the city and the true partnership we experience at every level means Barcelona is an intricate part of what the GSMA wants to create through MWC.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.