Business 28/06/2021

Quirón displaces Huawei: notes on the MWC (day 0)

Congress has more than 80 booths to do antigen tests at 15 euros for each person who enters the site

2 min
PCR test to enter MWC in Barcelona

BarcelonaNasal samples instead of antennas. Sanitary conditions have meant that the main occupant of space at the Mobile World Congress, which formally begins this Monday, is not the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei but the device that QuirónSalud has deployed on behalf of GSMA to perform rapid antigen tests to everyone -exhibitors, assemblers, visitors, journalists- who want to access the site. This Sunday I counted up to 80 booths for nasal sample extraction, plus 24 counters to pay -only by card- the €15 the tests cost, partially subsidised by the organisation.

To save queues in later days, you can pay at the same time for the two tests that you will have to take if you want to attend the four days of the MWC, because the access QR code is only activated if the negative result is under 72 hours old. Paradoxically, the health center is located in the same Hall 1 of Fira Gran Via that is usually occupied by Huawei, so where every year we saw telephone antennas now we get a stick in the nose. When you finish, the friendly health worker gives you a leaflet about Quirón's services for companies, which you can read while you wait to receive a text message on your mobile phone confirming that you are not carrying the virus.

More sustainable telecoms. Until the MWC formally opens the doors this Monday, we will not know to which other pavilion the Huawei stand has gone, the only one of the three major suppliers of network equipment that has maintained face-to-face participation after the losses of Ericsson and Nokia. The firm is also the only one that has respected the tradition of convening an event on the Sunday before the MWC. In this case, a session at the W Hotel on the need for greener ICTs.

Thanks to more efficient equipment, the energy consumption derived from transporting each bit of data has plummeted, but more and more parts are circulating, so we are where we were, and, as readers know, electricity is becoming more and more expensive. That's why several operators in Barcelona have explained their initiatives to reduce the electricity consumption of their networks.