A journalist tries the new features of the Gionee device at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 27, 2017. (Xinhua/Lino De Vallier)
BARCELONA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Mobile World Congress (MWC) opened its doors here on Monday, showcasing the latest innovations of the mobile phone industry.
In the lead-up to the congress, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, said on Sunday: "the mobile industry, which is at the heart of this Congress, is an expression of the best combination of cutting-edge technology and business efficiency, the most advanced communications services to offer better products in order to better meet the citizens' needs."
This year's event has a new theme, "Mobile, the Next Element", which is based on the idea that mobile is more than everything (last year's theme), organizers said.
"The 2016 theme was 'Mobile is everything'. This year we want to go a step further. We were thinking about what is more than everything and the answer to that is mobile is elemental, it is part of everything in our lives, it is part of every new innovation," the chief marketing officer for the GSMA, a trade body which represents the interests of more than 800 mobile operators, Michael O'Hara said.
"Right now I have heard a lot about 5G, I guess we have more and more smart connected devices, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality", Stephanie Baghdassarian of U.S. internet technology research firm Gartner told Xinhua about what she expected of this year's edition.
During the weekend, several companies launched their new devices including Huawei, ZTE, LG, Lenovo Moto, Samsung, Blackberry and Nokia.
"At the Mobile World Congress you can see the future -- the next ten, 15 years -- a lot of technology, very good brands," said Gerard Marques Bertran, from event management company Tote Vignau.
Under strong security measures, the main companies are showcasing their technologies in the Fira Gran Via, where there are almost 600 security cameras surveying the 240,000 square meters of the exhibition distributed into eight pavilions. The event is expected to gather some 2,200 exhibitors and receive 101,000 visitors.