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Mobile World Show opens with gesture of support for Ukraine

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The Mobile World Show, which continues until Thursday, strongly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukrainedeclared at an inaugural conference the director general of the World Association of Telecom Operators (GSMA), Mats Granryd, who was applauded for a long time by the participants.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the warabounded Nick Read, managing director of the telephony giant Vodafone, recalling that the Ukrainian conflict was added to multiple political, economic, social and environmental unrest.

Russian companies shunned

Due to the situation in Ukraine, the organizing committee of the event decided on Friday to remove the pavilion reserved for Russian companies. GSMA Complies with all sanctions and government policies resulting from this situation”,”text”:”The GSMA complies with all sanctions and government policies resulting from this situation”}}”>the World Association of Telecom Operators comply with all government sanctions and policies resulting from this situationhe justified.

A dozen Russian companies from the technology sector were expected in this pavilion. In the aisles of the show, the cybersecurity specialist Kaspersky or the company Infinet Wireless, both Russians, were nevertheless present.

Kaspersky's pavilion, illuminated in green.

The closure of the Russian pavilion does not prevent the Kaspersky company from being present at the congress.

Photo: AFP / PAU BARRENA

The kiosk of We/Ar Studio, the only accredited Ukrainian company, was empty on Monday morning, according to a journalist from theFrance Media Agency.

There has been war in Ukraine since last Thursday, so we will not be [à Barcelone]. We stay in Ukraine to fight for our countrytold theFrance Media Agency Daria Fedko, co-founder and managing director of the company.

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The disconcerting events of this early 21st century, such as what is happening in Ukraine, remind us [que] the question of values ​​is crucial [pour le monde de la technologie]underlined José Maria Alvarez Pallete, general manager of the Spanish operator Telefonica.

Technology has given us the power to change things, but now we have to decide whether we change them for good or bad.added Mr. Alvarez Pallete.

A World Mobile Fair under the sign of the pandemic

Between 40,000 and 60,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Mobile World Show. This attendance is still very far from the pre-pandemic figures – 100,000 visitors in 2019 – but it is nevertheless encouraging after two years of health crisis.

The Mobile Show was canceled at the last minute in 2020 due to multiple defections from the big names in telecommunications. Last year, it was held, but at the beginning of the summer and in a lighter format, with 20,000 people taking part.

According to the organization, 1,500 companies from 170 countries responded to the invitation this year.

Almost all of the technology and telecommunications giants made the trip, with the notable exception of the Japanese Sony and the Chinese Lenovo – which will only participate virtually at the event.

The topics covered this year at the show, under the theme of unleashed connectivitywill range from the rise of 5G to the opportunities offered by the Internet of Things to the metaverse and the impact of technology on the environment.

Beyond gadgets, it will be interesting to see how manufacturers position themselves in the smartphone marketparticularly with regard to Huawei setbacksin decline because of the sanctions imposed by the United States, underlined Thomas Husson, analyst at Forrester.

Penalties

The question of the sanctions imposed on Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine should also be followed closely. Washington has indeed decided to limit technology exports to Russia, which could disrupt a market already under pressure due to shortages of semiconductors.

The market for smartphones and other technology products is unlikely to be spared from the crisis, given the economic and geographic importance of Russia and Ukraineestimated Marina Koytcheva, of the CCS cabinet.

In decline for several years, the smartphone market climbed 5.7% last year, with 1.3 billion devices sold worldwide, according to IDC.

However, since the summer it has come up against logistical problems, which weighed on results in the fourth quarter.

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