On Sunday, 26 February, His Majesty King Don Felipe of Spain presided over the official welcome dinner for participants of Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Held by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the GSMA – which represents the interests of 800+ mobile operators and 250+ companies operating in the mobile ecosystem – the dinner officially opened the event, which will run from 27 February until 2 March.
Mobile World Congress is a worldwide meeting held once yearly to showcase mobile technology and bring together key companies and professionals in the mobile telecommunications sector. First held in Barcelona in 2006 it is part of a wider initiative to bring Barcelona to the forefront in the field of mobile transformation.
In a speech to the assembled crowd, The King welcomed the participants and thanked the GSMA for choosing the city for such an important meeting once again. He said: ‘Welcome to Barcelona, a great example of an entrepreneurial impulse, which is manifested in many different fields: from culture to science and research through the company itself and the most innovative technologies in almost every conceivable area.’
King Felipe spoke about the great opportunity the Congress presents for people from outside Spain to ‘know better our national ecosystem of companies, especially in this technological area, many of them pioneering in their fields of action and with great potential for development.’ He also emphasised the fact that the event was ‘the result of an intense task of cooperation and coordination between the Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda and the GSMA.’
His Majesty spoke about the fact that advances – such as the development of 5G – enable the world to move towards a more open, cohesive, inclusive and prosperous society. Mobile technology can be said to have been the force behind major social and economic transformations, and so there’s a clear need for education to provide people with the necessary skillset to ensure usage us appropriate for personal development, respects individual rights and protects the general interest. One area King Don Felipe drew particular attention to was cyber security as there is potential for advances to be put at risk. The King stressed the importance of a consistent and concerted response to reduce vulnerabilities to protect all that has been achieved.
The King was joined at the dinner by the Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the Vice-President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency and for the Territorial Administrations.