What It's Like Walking Around MWC, The Giant Mobile Industry Trade Show


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I’ve been in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress (MWC) since Saturday.

MWC is a trade show for the mobile industry. It’s freaking gigantic. I’ve never been to MWC, or CES, so I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the whole thing.

I spent two days taking photos of what it’s like to walk around. Hopefully you get a sense of how big this whole event is.

Start the day off hitting the streets of Barcelona.

Down the Barcelona metro, we go!

Hello, train.

Here's something I've always found odd about European subways. You open the doors with the handle. I once stood at a subway door in France waiting for it open. A local shoved me aside and opened it manually. Lesson learned!

Off the train, up an escalator, and down a hall for a transfer to MWC.

There's our train shuttle. The venue is 20 minutes outside the center of town.

Crowded train going to MWC!

Off this train, and we're herded out of the station.

A light at the end of the tunnel.

And as soon as we're above ground these ladies are handing out cards for Anchor Free.

The convention hall is in the middle of a nice industrial park area. But there aren't very many companies in the surrounding buildings.

Obligatory Android character.

Samsung posted this big ad for its new phone the day after it revealed it. The day before, this billboard was different.

At last! The entrance.

The hot spot to be.

Up the escalator we go. There's a big walkway that takes up the hall.


From up here, we get our first glimpse of the floor of the hall. It's big.

But, we're not going down there. First, we walk the length of the building.

Another peak of what's to come. The Samsung booth.

People working in a bubble.

More outdoor areas. It's crisp in Barcelona. You'd need a sweater to say warm. Or, you could use one of the white blankets provided for warmth.

Along the walkway, you can see a mural being painted.

We're still walking! This place is big.

Still going, around the bend and we'll be near the end... right?

Wrong! There is much more to go.

OK. Finally, the last turn.

We saw this guy at the end of the hallway. Not sure what he was doing.

Now we enter hall 8.1, app world. Hello Estonia!

Hello, Criteo!

Hello, Bavaria!

There's all sorts of companies in attendance. GM, for instance, which has a developer platform it turns out.

Hello, Greece!

Hello, Japan!

Water proof your iPhone, fools.

In the booth, making the hard sell on the iPhone case.

Hello, Switzerland!

A woman representing Switzerland.

Hello, France!

Giant booth for Ubuntu.

This is a giant iPhone... but the display is running on Windows. And Windows has crashed.

A view from inside one of the many Samsung booths.

We left hall 8.1 and headed to hall 8.

Not to be rude, but hall 8 was the worst, most boring hall of them all.

It did have this cool Estrella bar area, though.


In hall 8, Nokia has this giant bus for its new Android phone line. It wants developers to make sure their apps work on their new phones.

Done with hall 8, we take the escalator back to the main walkway.

Let's dive into hall 7...

Hey look, it's HTC. (We met someone at the HTC booth. They thought it would be a quiet place to meet.)

HTC has this trophy, which I don't recognise. I am told that its for the best smartphone of 2013. So, that's cool.

They also have HTC one phones on display. Poor HTC One. A high quality phone that few people want to buy.

There was also a soccer juggling display, which was neat.

This is HTC's new mid-range phablet phone. It looked nice, but was in glass, so I didn't get to test it.

Great Britain, in the house.

This is a phone from Umeox, a Chinese company I never heard of. It sells 15 million phones annually.

It also has this smart watch that makes phone calls and does email and apps.

The keyboard on this smartwatch was laughable. You need tiny fingers to hit the keys.

So, 'booth babes.' Yes, MWC has attractive women at its booths, but they're dressed reasonably.

Canada in the house. But in the back of the house with a small booth.

This device plugs into an iPhone and can do glucose readings off little strips.

Touch ID! No, this isn't Apple. It's some random Chinese company, and when we looked we couldn't find the finger print scanner.




Women in front of iPhone cases.

CNBC in the house.

Fancy a Pop? These booths are massive.

Some of them have really nice fixtures. These lamps were lovely.

This was a Chinese smartphone company that just started last year called Coship. It advertised a 'virus free' dual OS. It had both Android and its own Linux style operating system on one phone.

No idea what this means, but I like it.


Football players. Sort of.

I was exhausted, so I took a break in the media room.

Went outside for lunch, and spotted a putting green, and some nets for hitting golf balls.

There was also this remote control car racing track.

And in the distance there was foosball tables.

Delicious sausage for lunch.

After lunch, I headed back in. I don't even know what hall I was in. I was delirious. This was a display for solar power.

This was probably the saddest booth of them all. No decorations, no whiz bang, just a cubicle.

Israel in the house.

This was another company I'd never heard of, Yezz mobile, which has a bunch of Android-based phones.

This was the Blackphone booth. It doesn't look it, but it was buzzing. It's a privacy focused phone.

The ZTE booth was big. ZTE is a Chinese smartphone maker that's starting to get popular.

There was dancing at the ZTE booth.

Down from ZTE, Ford had a display. This is is what cars with sensors see when scanning the road.

Across from Ford, Oracle established a monopoly on buzz phrases.

Oracle would like to remind you of its sailboat.

HP had a giant booth. There were photocopiers inside. And some laptops, and some other stuff.

There was a corvette on the floor. It was in the 'connected city' area. We're not sure why. But, it's nice looking car.

You could work on your basketball game.

This is BMW's electric car. Let's just say it's no Tesla. But, the interior is decent.

These guys were at Samsung's primary booth.

Here is the wide view of Samsung's giant demo area.

I thought this tablet arrangement in the middle was lovely.

Here's LG's giant booth.

And here's the Nokia area.

Nokia was popping fresh popcorn.

Across from Nokia was Sony. Sony has a bunch of Android phones, but nothing that really stands out.

This cardboard cut out of Kobe Bryant was in the Lenovo booth.

Sup, Mexico.

Firefox had a giant booth

This was CA Technologies' booth. It was cool.

Sadly my photo of the Yotaphone booth doesn't do it justice. It was a stand out.

This was the most impressive of all. If I were giving out awards for best in show, this giant contraption from Samsung would win.

It was a giant igloo-like meeting space. Really impressive.

Ericsson also had a space that looked incredible from the outside. Sadly, I was not allowed in since I didn't have a meeting with Ericsson.

This is one last photo from the floor. Hopefully, you get a sense of how massive everything is. These booths are the size of strip mall stores. They're gigantic.

One last sit outside, enjoying the fresh air.

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