A guide to MWC’s
keynote presentations

Executives from some of the world’s most cutting edge companies stand alongside those from world leading organisations on the MWC19 Barcelona keynote programme, but with such a vast range of sessions on offer it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, Mobile World Daily’s Chris Donkin is on hand to give a whistle-stop tour of what to look forward to.

MWC Barcelona has long since ceased to be an exclusively mobile event, with leaders from a whole host of industries touched by wireless giving their perspectives on the most pressing issues of the day. Ethics in AI, content streaming, connected vehicle technology and state-of-the-art video games are all discussed with the same verve as sessions on the realities of 5G rollout.

Keynote 1: Intelligently Connecting the World

The first keynote brings together a stellar line-up representing some of the world’s most notable operators to discuss Intelligently Connecting the World (Monday, 9am).

GSMA director general Mats Granryd (1) is joined by five CEOs: Telefonica’s Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete Lopez (2); Orange Group’s Stephane Richard (3); Singtel’s Chua Sock Koong (4); KT Corporation’s Chang-Gyu Hwang (5) and – making his first appearance at the event since being elevated to lead Vodafone Group – Nick Read (6).

These industry figureheads will set the scene for the conference, discussing some of the most challenging, controversial and pressing issues on the collective minds of the world’s MNOs.

Keynote 2: AI Innovation, Ethics & Diversity

In the second keynote, attention turns to one of the hottest topics of the last 12 months – AI innovation, ethics and diversity (Monday, 12.10am). The session focuses on the huge potential of Artificial Intelligence to break down boundaries and create opportunities for all groups, as well as discussing the thorny issue of ethics.

Among the speakers is Marieme Jamme (7), inspirational founder of iamtheCODE – a movement to drive institutional investment in teaching young women in Africa skills in the technology sector. Offering a regulatory view will be European Commissioner for digital economy and society, Mariya Gabriel (8).

They will be joined by Heba Bevan (9), founder of smart speaker company Udderberry, and OECD director general Jose Angel Gurria Trevino (10).

Keynote 3: Immersive Content

Immersive content is one of the most visually impressive technologies enabled by 5G, making Immersive Content (Monday 2.30pm) an absolute must see.

HTC CEO Cher Wang (11) is a prominent visionary for AR and VR technology and is set to make an exclusive announcement on stage. She lines up alongside Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud (12), discussing the future of video content, and one of the music industry’s most influential figures, Universal Music CEO Sir Lucian Grainge (13). Grainge will give his view on the future relationship between mobile and music.

Keynote 4: An Intelligent Future for All

Monday’s final keynote session An Intelligent Future for All (Monday, 5pm) sees Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (14) taking the stage with Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche (15) in a not to be missed session. They are followed by a look at humanitarian applications of new technologies from high-ranking officials from the UN, Red Cross and African Union Commission. The day ends with a presentation from Google AI and Health chief Jeff Dean (16).

Keynote 5: Connectivity: The Great Enabler

Tuesday’s opening keynote addresses the inevitable subject: Connectivity – The Great Enabler (Tuesday 9am). Here, Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping (17) discusses progress towards the new network technology on everyone’s lips, before representatives from a range of industries illustrate some of the most enticing use cases of 5G.

Sports fans will be treated to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach (18) discussing innovations used at last year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and no doubt giving a hint at what we can expect at Tokyo’s summer games in 2020.

Director general of Smart Dubai, Aisha Bin Bishr (19), will showcase smart city technology and discuss the ambitious projects currently underway, including flying taxis to smart sewerage systems.

Also in this session there is a huge unveiling sure to make the international news. Unfortunately, Mobile World Daily isn’t allowed to tell you what it is. But check the Mobile World Daily on Wednesday and you’ll see what we’re driving at.

Keynote 6: Intelligently Connected Experiences

Money and disrupting retail are the big issues in the first half of Intelligently Connected Experiences (Tuesday 11am) with representatives from financial services provider Citi (James Forese (20)) and Groupon (Rich Williams (21)) on the bill.

Following them on stage John Hanke (22), CEO of Niantic – the company behind Pokemon Go – will discuss next generation gaming, including elements of its upcoming Harry Potter game.

Keynote 7: The Next Generation

One of the most disruptive new MNO launches is likely to come in Japan where internet giant Rakuten is set to make its entry. Its CEO Hiroshi Mikitani (23) will provide one of the first public disclosures of its plan during The Next Generation (Wednesday, 9.30am) and will be joined by Cisco chief Chuck Robbins (24).

Meanwhile ARM CEO Simon Segars (25) will discuss the positive impact of AI and next generation technology alongside some guests from, literally, the next generation. Then, the CEOs of Etisalat International (Hatem Dowidar (26)), Liberty Global (Mark Fries (27)) and Sprint (Michel Combes (28)) discuss the key takeaways from MWC19 Barcelona.

Keynote 8: The Next Unicorn

Speaking of the future, those with fledgling businesses cannot afford to miss the final keynote of the event, The Next Unicorn (Thursday, 9.30). Here, the CEOs of successful startups Light (29), Sparrho (30), MessageBird (31) and Picasso Labs (32) discuss their stories and offer valuable tips on building a successful business.

Of course, there’s more to MWC19 Barcelona than keynotes, with specialist sessions taking part across the entire four days. Pick-up the Mobile World Daily every morning for a full list of what’s on.

*All information correct as of 7/2/19