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The relationship between MWC and CES

Exploring why the Tech world’s burgeoning relationship is increasingly important to global society.

As Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 kicks off in Barcelona, it is now obvious that the lines between the Barcelona Expo and the recent consumer tech fest, CES, are becoming more and more blurred.

And the reason is simple. More and more of the ever-widening footprint of all tech industries (consumer or otherwise) need ever faster and more robust mobile network infrastructure to thrive. Connectivity is their digital oxygen

MWC is where that digital oxygen is created, and if the promise of AI is to be delivered on, said digital oxygen is going to be needed more than ever. AI will be top of the agenda for many meetings and sessions at MWC, but without secure and swift connectivity, its potential could be wasted.

CES 2024 3Enigma have been at CES and MWC since the early days

Where is tech headed?

Often, when you arrive at MWC, you can be distracted by the relentless pace of advancement in the mobile world. The latest handsets, tablet devices, fitness trackers and smart watches are all there, often having been upgraded from their previous incarnations only six weeks earlier in Vegas!

Now however, it is clear that more and more delegates are at MWC to initiate conversations about technology that is way beyond that of an Android smartphone. They are looking for answers to a multitude of questions:

- How can the world build smart homes and smart cities using digital connectivity to drive positive, sustainable societal change on a global basis?

- How can 5G and private networks lead to a more secure, equitable way of life?

- How can 6G and geostationary satellites drive a level of global interconnectivity that was technologically impossible a couple of years ago?

Samsung-5 MWC 2023Enigma represents some of the biggest names in mobile tech at MWC

How do CES and MWC link?

The answers to those questions are what makes MWC 2024 so important for both a CES audience and a returning MWC delegate.

The relationship between CES and MWC is very much a two-way street, but there have always been the occasional technology dead ends and too ambitious plans. 3G was an excellent example.

The infrastructure builders (back then), the likes of Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson to name a few, had some grandiose plans to drive the richest, most engaging multimedia experiences ever witnessed on a handset.

However the handset manufacturing teams, and the network builders just didn’t communicate enough. When the first 3G handsets were launched in the early noughties, there was no network! Hutchinson 3G had a massive launch party in London and the handsets that did work were using 2G, or the snappily titled GPRS (2.5G) service!

CES 2023 2Our experiential design conveying how digital precision can mesh with a human feel

The future

Fortunately, those days are long gone. Consumer brands like Intel, Sony, and Samsung now have deep expertise and capacity in B2B2C software development - and that means they are the perfect partners for our network builders and smart city designers.

CES will always be a massive hit with the gadget watchers and next generation technology bloggers. MWC remains the premier platform to inform analysts and NGOs of the power of the digital network.

But now that both parts of the connectivity ecosystem realise that they are very much in this together, it should be able to bring truly dramatic and positive change to all societies.


CES and MWC become conceptually and practically more intertwined every year

If you’ll be attending MWC 2024, we’d love to connect with you onsite. You can learn more about us here, contact us here, or subscribe below to stay in the loop.

For over 30 years Enigma has been putting Brands in Focus. You can take a closer look at our experiential marketing principles here, contact us here, or follow the link below for stats on the effectiveness of in-person events.

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