A little bit meta, I know, but this may be one of the biggest bits of news to escape the Mobile World Congress show yet, and it’s about the Mobile World Congress itself. Despite the fact that Barcelona has hosted the show for the last five years now (Barcelona has been Mobile World Congress-town since 2006, when it was previously only in Cannes), some serious competitors are showing up to take the top slot.
Already bids have been entered from major European cities like Milan, Paris and Munich to host the show starting in 2013, but the Spanish government is not taking this lying down, and has vowed to “fully back (s)” Barcelona, as evidenced in a statement by Spain’s Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian. For their part, they’ve already been talking to Spanish telecom concerns to keep their support in for Barcelona, and upping their own investments in same, which would in turn produce another 40,000 jobs.
It’s not at all surprising that Milan and Paris and Munich would want a shot at the Mobile World Congress–the show itself brought an estimated 55,000 professionals out to the show, which in turn results in gobs of money getting pumped into the beleaguered Spanish economy. And indeed, each of those cities would have something new and interesting to bring to the show, so the question remains, can Barcelona hold on to the brass ring that it’s been toting successfully for the last five years now, and the sixth to come next year? Or will they get aced out by one of their many competitors?
The issue is set to be settled this June, as the Mobile World Congress decides where it’s going to go. Undoubtedly, folks in all four countries are already biting their fingernails in anticipation of the announcement, so keep it right here to see how it all boils down.