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What future does the Mobile World Congress have after 2021?

What future does the Mobile World Congress have after 2021?

The entrance to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2019.
The entrance of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2019.

The ghostly edition of the Mobile World Congress 2021 begins this Monday without most of the big names in telecommunications, that is, from OEMs to handset manufacturers. After the cancellation of the 2020 edition and the cancellation of the IFA 2021 in Berlin, this certainly hybrid event arrives like a hair in the soup …

According to some media, turnout is so low that organizers are distributing cheap tickets to the local population. Enough to fill the halls usually frequented by some 100,000 visitors through Thursday, compared to 30,000 to 50,000 this year? But what is the point of going to Mobile World Congress 2021 in these conditions? Not to mention Covid-19 and the security measures that accompany it …

The giants flee Barcelona

In fact, without Sony, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm and Google, in particular, we must turn to the secondary tiers. Obviously, a Huawei, present, hopes to do well … But when we know that many interested people or opinion leaders will not be in Barcelona, ​​also quite poorly connected to the railway …

You also wonder if such events will still have meaning in 2021. It’s probably not for nothing that Apple has been in a bad mood for years. On the other hand, a super polluter like Elon Musk, who is disfiguring our sky with thousands of useless satellites, will deliver a speech … probably from another era!

A manifestation from another time?

As global warming intensifies, in a state of emergency, can we still bring in tens, or even hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world by plane, when we know the effectiveness of digital broadcast media? With 5G in mind… Huawei, Samsung, Apple, Sony, Acer and others have multiplied live presentations on the web during the pandemic. Successfully.

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It’s also a bit embarrassing, when you think about it. Do telecom experts really need to get together when they’ve been advocating for remote working, video conferencing, digital, virtual, and other tools for years? So yes, the digital information society consumes energy, but above all it saves a lot of CO2. As proof, this EMPA infographic is reproduced below. ABE.

Xavier Studer

By 2050, the Confederation intends to reduce annual CO2 emissions to 1.5 tons per capita. Graphics: Empa.