Martel shakes and moves MWC and 4YFN

Martel at Mobile World Congress

Martel at Mobile World CongressMartel spent four immersive days at Mobile World Congress and the Four Years From Now conference in Barcelona 24-28 February.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry,  attracting 100,000 visitors over four days. The exhibitors are spread over eight large halls with companies ranging from established startups to huge tech giants such as Nokia, Samsung and Google.

Four Years From Now (4YFN) is a spin-off event from MWC that has been running since 2014. It is aimed at SMEs and Startups, with a focus on innovation and investment. 4YFN is growing year on year and attracts around 21,000 attendees over three days, including 760 exhibitors and 400+ speakers.

Martel was highly active at both events, representing several of our Horizon 2020 projects. We contributed to the strong Next Generation Internet (NGI) presence at 4YFN, helping to staff the booth, participating, presenting at and moderating workshops and interviewing key players. At MWC, we offered crucial support to the 5G-PPP project and FLAME, as well as attending workshops, meetings and the Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards ceremony.

“Martel had a busy and productive week in Barcelona at MWC and 4YFN. We were there to support and promote our projects, to network with our partners and, perhaps most importantly, to have fun and learn!” says Martel CEO Dr Monique Calisti.

5G: prepare for the unexpected

5G and Martel at Mobile World Congress

The Martel team did a great job supporting the communication and dissemination efforts of the 5G-PPP European Initiative and the 5G Industry Association at MWC. It is a great privilege for our team to be part of the 5GPPP initiative and coordinate the communication and promotion efforts of the 5G research projects working under the 5PPP umbrella, funded by the H2020 European Commission framework.

13 5GPPP projects participated at the MWC 2019, with demos at the 5GIA and at the 5G Barcelona/Mobile World Capital booths and hosted by several other corporate stands, distributing informative materials, and organising technical panels and 1-to-1 meetings.


It was exciting to be at the Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards ceremony, where the 5G Industry Partnership Award went to the Hamburg Port Authority, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia for the First Large Scale Industrial Commercial 5G Trial. This trial is supported in the framework of the EU-funded 5G-MoNArch, which is part of the second phase of the 5G Public Private Partnership (5G PPP).  The project covers very innovative use cases related to traffic light control, virtual reality, and other advanced logistical applications.
GLOMO Awards at MWC Dr Colin Willcock, 5GIA Chairman of the Board, presented the forward-looking perspective of the 5GIA and 5GPPI initiative at the Mobile World Capital booth at the “Beyond 5G: what’s next?” panel organized by Interdigital Inc. He emphasised the perspective shift required from the telecommunication industry to engage the vertical industries into 5G deployment.

Martel reported across the social media all the appointments and activities of the 5GPPP projects and we supported the EC officials attending the event: Roberto Viola, Director of DG Connect, European Commission, and Pearse O’ Donohue, Director for the Future Networks Directorate of DG Connect.

Lesson learnt: “Innovation never goes exactly how you expect, being at the forefront of the digital revolution and involved in several research projects allow us to perceive changes and challenges ahead of time. Still, we need to adjust quickly, as the industries, and customers, find the new capabilities offered by the technologies and start using them in ways that were unexpected,” says Margherita Trestini, Martel’s Marketing & Communication Manager.


Monique Calisti at the InterDigital 5G Verticals panel for FLAME

FLAME was another Martel project represented at MWC. Here the efforts were focused around the booth of FLAME partner InterDigital. The booth hosted a FLAME demonstration and launched a new animated film produced by Martel for the FLAME project. This film formed part of a FLAME showreel, also created by Martel. In addition, we produced FLAME flyers and brochures for the booth.

On the Tuesday at the InterDigital booth, Martel’s Monique Calisti participated in a fascinating panel discussion, “5G Network Trials: What are the Verticals Doing?” which offered insights on 5G trials from both the demand and supply sides.

“There’s an increasing uptake of 5G trials and technologies in Europe and we have a strong culture to get SMEs, Startups and Researchers on board,” said Calisti. “One of the challenges is to define the right business models. And Industry 4.0 is possibly the last vertical that will adopt 5G,” she said.

Martel and The Future of NGI @4YFN

Martel’s efforts at 4YFN were centred on the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative. NGI had one of the larger exhibitor spaces. This comprised a booth with information about the initiative’s four current open calls, and a Lounge Area, which proved a popular spot for networking. Since the event was aimed at Startups and SMEs, there was a palpable buzz about innovation, something close to Martel’s heart. In between our work for the NGI, we spoke to dozens of switched-on innovators in the internet space. Stay tuned for our upcoming video where we ask 4YFN attendees: “What does innovation mean to you?”

NGI hosted two workshops and the NGI Awards ceremony at the event. Our CEO Monique Calisti, in her role as head of the NGI Outreach Office, presented How to Join the NGI at the first workshop: NGI as a Catalyst for Europe, which was held on the first day. On the final day, Calisti hosted a panel of four experts to discuss The Future of NGI. This was an insightful and informative session with some fresh ideas about this growing initiative. As well as being a key area in Horizon 2020, NGI has been earmarked as an “intervention area” in the European Commission’s upcoming framework, Horizon Europe (2021-27).

NGI Forum 2019


At the NGI Awards, Francesca Bria, CTO for the City of Barcelona said: “NGI is an opportunity for Europe to create a framework for digital society that goes beyond regulation. We want to create a different technology ecosystem [involving] the convergence of AI, supercomputing, IoT. [We are working to create] a democratic, egalitarian, innovative digital society.”

Martel reported across social media for NGI, as well as conducing video interviews with the experts, and with the NGI projects running the open calls. Stay tuned to the portal for these exciting new films, coming soon.

Dr Calisti also announced the 2019 edition of the NGI Forum will be held in Helsinki in September, to coincide with the EU parliament’s Finnish residency.


Next steps for Martel

We have now no time to sit back and relax… the next major appointment is around the corner, as we will be heavily involved in the organization and promotion of the 7th Global 5G Event in Valencia, 18-21 June 2019, co-located with the EuCNC.