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Science and technology Updated: 06 Nov 2018

The MWC brings Mark Zuckerberg, Lewis Hamilton and the founder of Buzzfeed to Barcelona

Less than a week before it begins, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecommunications congress that has become the main global technology event, has already caused rivers of ink to flow. The possible innovations that will be presented by smartphone manufacturers are combined with an agenda of presentations by personalities from a wide variety of industries and interests.

If until now we talked about "mobile first” to refer to the way this channel has become the main means for users to interact with any service, the new motto of the MWC is “Mobile is everything, a clear allusion to the fact that mobile technologies have entered all aspects of life.

The guests include Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who returns to Barcelona for the third year in a row. On the main stage of the MWC he will be interviewed by Jessi Hemple from Wired magazine, where they will discuss the initiative with which Zuckerberg aims to take Internet access to the world's most underprivileged areas. Not without controversy, since the government of India recently closed his free service, which somehow competes with telecommunications companies, claiming that it is contrary to the Net's neutrality.

Zuckerberg, who has clarified his position in a post on Facebook , will talk about his most personal cause, but a new headline cannot be ruled out. We shouldn't forget that it was in Barcelona where the purchase of Whatsapp was announced last year.

But Zuckerberg is not the only famous name at the smartphone trade fair. The pilot Lewis Hamilton will be at a roundtable devoted to Formula 1, moderated by the chairman of Qualcomm.

Cruises, Unicef, Telegram...

If it is surprising to come across pilots at a mobility trade fair, it is no less remarkable to witness the participation of Richard Fain, chairman of the cruise company Royal Caribbean, at the roundtable focused to the transformation of industries, or Anthony Lake, executive director of Unicef, who takes part in a session devoted to digital inclusion, or Mark Fields, Ford chairman, who will discuss how smartphones have made it possible to take connectivity to all aspects of life, including cars.

Internet companies are represented by Jonah Peretti, the founder of Buzzfeed, the website that is seriously competing with the media and social networks with its system for following and sharing viral content. Also present will be Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, the messaging alternative to Whatsapp.

Financial services will also be present at the main conferences with Mastercard and Paypal.

As was to be expected, telecommunications will take center stage and this year César Alierta, Telefónica chairman, will open the series of conferences which will also be attended by leading executives of AT&T or the CEO of Vodafone and the chairman of Turkcell.

If you can't make it to Barcelona, this year, for the first time, all the sessions will be broadcast via streaming through the Mobile World Live channel.


Mobile World Congress in figures

MWC photo

Exhibitors: 2,100

Pavilions: 34

Media: 4,000 accredited journalists

Expected attendees: 95,000 professionals

Economic impact: 460 million euros and 13,000 temporary jobs