Mobile World Congress Americas: Conference Development and Summary

In June 2016, the GSMA entered into a partnership with CTIA to create a new mobile industry event in the United States. “GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas, in partnership with CTIA” will debut on the 12th to 14th September, 2017 at the Moscone Centre in the heart of San Francisco. CTIA and the GSMA are equal partners in the joint event, with the GSMA leading the event’s production and management.
The GSMA’s ambitions for the event include expanding the scope of the event both in terms of its content and its geographic reach. As the name suggests “Mobile World Congress Americas”, is designed to attract attendees and exhibitors from throughout the Americas, that have an interest in connectivity and its adjacent markets, which frankly is anyone involved in business today, such is the pervasiveness of connected technologies. Mobile World Congress Americas would therefore better reflect the complex and diverse ecosystem that mobile technologies, hand in hand with the Internet, has created.
With this aim in mind, and to add some structure and narrative to the conference agenda, we have created an agenda that includes the following six themes;

While enterprises of all kinds have used telecoms and digital services for years, the current and future scale and complexity of impact across all industries and society is profound as the Internet of things and Artificial Intelligence driven automation grows, and digital service providers play a central role in this increasingly diverse ecosystem. This will be addressed from two angles; one looking more at the application of technology (including big data and Artificial Intelligence in particular) and one looking at implementation and the evolution of business models, strategies and competitive marketplaces as digitisation increases.If recent mobile carrier acquisitions tell us anything, it is that content is king. For many service providers across the value chain how content is delivered, who by, how and who profits from it will be critical business issues in the years to come. Meanwhile, faster and more pervasive connectivity and new device formats open up new forms of entertainment and interaction, from VR headsets to Pokemon Go.As our digital world continues to expand, through the growth in connected devices and sensors, how will users interact with their digital environment? What will they pay for and how? At the heart of this, data has become the new oil, but questions still remain around how brands and services create acceptable richer personalised services and offers tailored to the user and their context?The end goal of most network technology developments is to make using connectivity as ubiquitous, fast, simple and essential as breathing air. That masks a massive and increasing complexity. The astonishing thing is that, as an industry, we are starting to get there, although many hurdles – expected and unexpected – remain.Mobile has the opportunity, and arguably the obligation, to play a massive part in accomplishing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The mobile industry impacts all 17 Goals to varying degrees, with the greatest effect being felt on SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). From an enterprise perspective, what opportunities exist to build sustainable businesses in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.The wireless industry is transforming the way we live, work and play. Good public policy is critical to enabling continued investment, innovation and the 5G networks of the future. The Everything Policy track explores this intersection by bringing together industry experts and policymakers focused on today’s key wireless issues. With an emphasis on 5G, this two-day track will provide the latest policy developments on spectrum auctions, infrastructure, IoT, drones and more.

These six themes were then broken down into track sessions as shown here.

To date the speakers we have secured for the conference, go a long way to achieving the objectives of expanding the topic and geographic scope of the event. They include speakers from América Móvil, AT&T, Coca-Cola, IBM Watson, Jaunt, Facebook, Google, Nokia, PayPal, Sprint, UPS and Verizon Wireless executives. More specifically we will see keynotes from;
• Carlos Slim Domit, CEO and Chairman, América Móvil
• Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Chairman, GSMA
• Meredith Atwell Baker, President and CEO, CTIA
• Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
• Rajeev Suri, CEO, Nokia
• Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal
• Marcelo Claure, Chairman,CTIA & President and CEO, Sprint
• Juan Perez, Chief Information and Engineering Officer, UPS
• Ronan Dunne, Executive Vice President and Group President, Verizon Wireless

Beyond the keynote program, Mobile World Congress Americas will offer focused track sessions that address how the future of the industry is taking shape. Executives and industry experts confirmed to speak in the track sessions include:
• Amit Ahuja, Head of Audience and Planning Businesses, Adobe
• Domingo Guerra, Co-Founder and President, Appthority
• Joan Marsh, SVP, Federal Regulatory, AT&T
• Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola
• Rebecka Cedering Ångström, Acting Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson
• Monica Adractas, Director, North America, Workplace by Facebook
• Rob High, IBM Fellow, VP and CTO, IBM Watson
• Peter Sorckoff, Chief Creative Officer, EVP Brand & Innovation, NBA Atlanta Hawks & Philips Arena
• Eugene Chung, Founder and CEO, Penrose Studios
• Dean Brenner, SVP, Spectrum Strategy and Technology Policy, Qualcomm Inc.
• Kathleen Ham, SVP, Government Affairs, T-Mobile USA, Inc.
• Luis Minoru, Chief Strategy Officer, TIM Brasil
• Grant Spellmeyer, VP, Federal Affairs and Public Policy, U.S. Cellular
• Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, United States Federal Communications Commission
• Charla Rath, VP, Wireless Policy Development, Verizon
For more information on the Mobile World Congress Americas conference, including speakers and full agenda, visit: www.mwcamericas.com/conference/conference-overview/

Women4Tech at Mobile World Congress Americas
Launched earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to address the persistent gender gap in the mobile industry, the GSMA is extending the Women4Tech program to Mobile World Congress Americas. The program, which comprises a range of events and activities, prominently features the Women4Tech Summit on Wednesday, September 13, which will examine how gender diversity is changing the mobile ecosystem. The first confirmed Women4Tech keynote and session speakers include:
• Edith Yeung, Partner, 500 Startups
• Sabeen Ali, CEO, AngelHack
• Larissa Fontaine, Global Head & Director of Apps Business Development, Google Play, Google
• Erica Lockheimer, Senior Director of Engineering Growth & Leading Women In Tech, LinkedIn
• Triinu Magi, Co-Founder and CTO, Neura

Additional Women4Tech activities include a speed coaching and networking session on Thursday, September 14, and as part of the 4 Years From Now (4YFN) program lineup, a Women4Tech Diversity Panel on Tuesday, September 12 and an interactive workshop on Thursday, September 14. The Women4Tech Tours & Experience Program will take place on Tuesday, September 12 and will feature exhibitors and industry experts that are transforming the world of technology.

4YFN Event Debuts in Americas
Mobile World Congress Americas will introduce the 4YFN Startup Event in San Francisco. After four years of success at Mobile World Congress and Mobile World Congress Shanghai, 4YFN will break into the Americas region this September, enabling startups, investors, corporations and public institutions to connect and launch new ventures together. This program will feature a startup exhibition, open-stage panel discussions and pitch sessions, and networking events designed to evolve the startup ecosystem worldwide. Soracom has come on board as Gold Sponsor of 4YFN. For more on 4YFN, visit: www.mwcamericas.com/events/4yfn/.
There is much to learn, see and look forward too.