6 minute read 2 Aug 2021
Reframe your future digital city

Why work alone in a world more connected than ever?

By Tom Loozen

EY Global Telecommunications Leader

Fascinated by the positive impact of telecoms. Passionate musician. Enjoys educating himself on psychology, wine, sports, technology, arts and much more. Husband and father of three daughters.

6 minute read 2 Aug 2021

MWC Barcelona is one of the most influential cross-industry technology events in the world. Explore EY content and insights.

Now is the time to build your resilience and look at the future through a new lens, starting with MWC Barcelona 2021 EY highlights.

The global pandemic has been an accelerator for change, from fast-tracking the adoption and use of technology and new ways of working, to the need to pivot quickly to keep up with changing consumer expectations. The changed landscape has forced reinvention and organizations are looking to create and shape a new future: to reimagine what’s possible, realize new opportunities together and build an even better working world.

Highlights from the EY MWC virtual booth

Hear directly from Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chair and CEO on how he believes technology is a force for good in the global fight against climate change. Or delve into one of our 5 industry worlds where we probe EY and industry experts on some hard-hitting questions.

  • The intersection between technology and sustainability

    Hear Reuters Editor-at-Large Axel Threlfall in conversation with EY Global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio, as they explore the intersection between technology and sustainability.

  • Reimagining industry futures: how can 5G providers help industries to flourish?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new urgency to industry transformation. The EY “Reimagining Industry Futures” study surveys over 1,000 organizations across eight industries worldwide, exploring changing enterprise needs and attitudes toward emerging technologies, especially 5G and IoT. Today, it’s clearer than ever that a well-functioning, intelligent, digital infrastructure is of the utmost importance for every society and a source of competitive advantage for those who have it in place.

    In this session, we share insights on how intelligent connectivity is changing industry futures; discuss findings from the latest EY research; and, explore a comprehensive set of solutions for communications, technology and other network-heavy industries.


    • Tom Loozen, EY Global Telecommunications Leader​
    • Adrian Baschnonga​, EY Global Telecommunications Lead Analyst
    • Jose Luis Garcia​, EY Global TMT Managed Services Leader​
    • Tim Best, EY Global Future Network Now Cybersecurity Leader
    • Matthew Robinson, EY Future Network Now: Network Deployment Solution Leader

    Read the study findings:

    How 5G providers can help industries to flourish

  • Sustainability and technology: is sustainability the innovation challenge of a generation?

    Technology has always helped society solve problems and do things better, faster, together. It presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to harness its power to fight climate change and accelerate the world’s transformation to a greener, more sustainable future. ​

    The pandemic has increased awareness of the challenges around environmental and social inequities and reinforced the importance of access to technology and connectivity for all. COP26 and other macro trends are driving critical conversations, including national and business net zero commitments, and substantial investments in renewables and green technology. ​

    No single organization can do it alone. We need collaboration across various ecosystems, including industries, strategic alliances, geographies, governments and nonprofits. Join us as we highlight game-changing organizations that are leading the way to net zero carbon footprints and using data and analytics to prevent and reduce further ecological impact. ​


    • Beatriz Sanz Saiz​, EY Global Consulting Data & Analytics Leader​
    • David Lindop​, EY Global Data Fabric Leader ​
    • Cindy Rose​, President, Microsoft Western Europe

    Watch how can carbon negative unlock the positive value for the planet?

  • Connected citizens: how can digital government connect citizens without leaving the disconnected behind?

    More than two-thirds of citizens around the world think technology improves how they shop and bank, but only 57% think it improves the services they receive from government. ​Governments are racing to catch up on digital transformation and to improve public services. ​Understanding the needs of citizens from all parts of society has never been more important, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has both accelerated public innovation and transformation while changing citizens experience and expectations. ​

    We present the latest EY “Connected Citizens” research to reveal what citizens think about their own lives, the government services they receive, and the way governments can harness data and technology to improve societal conditions and connections. ​


    • Arnauld Bertrand​, EY Global Government and Public Sector Consulting Leader​
    • Kelly Beaver​, Managing Director, Ipsos MORI Public Affairs ​
    • Julie McQueen​, EY Global Government and Infrastructure Lead Analyst

    Read more about the EY Connected Citizen study:

    How can digital government connect citizens without leaving the disconnected behind? | EY - Global

  • Smart health: how do you create the care models of tomorrow that are barely imaginable today?

    The future of health is changing rapidly, as health systems move beyond digital, beyond connected, to fully leveraging the world of artificial intelligence and smart technologies. Interconnecting people, the environment, and infrastructure as a unified, intelligent, data-optimized system of care is the point where health becomes smart. ​

    ​Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed health systems’ reliance on in-person care delivery and has driven the health industry to the tipping point of digital transformation. History will look back on this time as the point at which health care providers and consumers finally adopted virtual care.​  We present our Smart Health solutions, daring you to imagine what a hospital and health system can be in the age of digital health care and bring your vision to life.


    • Aloha McBride, EY Global Health Leader
    • Rachel Hall​, EY US Consulting Health Digital Leader​
    • Rachel Dunscombe​, CEO, NHS Digital Academy and Principal at Tektology
  • Cybersecurity: do the upside risks of 5G outweigh the downside security risks?

    In the near future, 5G will become embedded in everything, from hospitals, to transport systems and power plants; it will rapidly become a part of each country’s critical national infrastructure. But 5G will also potentially dramatically increase the number of vulnerability points in telecommunications networks. 

    Consequently, a failure of 5G would impact all parts of society, including our economy, public health and safety. Although security concerns are not new to communication service providers, the threat surface is expanding and will require appropriate security solutions. ​

    ​In this session, EY and Nokia professionals discuss the growing and evolving threat landscape of 5G as it continues to integrate with various connected industries and critical services, the vital role various stakeholders — including regulatory and government bodies — will play in addressing the related cyber risks, and the importance of incorporating cybersecurity into the planning stages of new technology-enabled solutions.​


    • Kris Lovejoy​, EY Global Cybersecurity Leader​
    • Simone Montozzi​, Head of Security Operation Portfolio, Nokia

    Tackle todays most pressing security challenges Cyber and privacy leaders' agenda | EY - Global

    Read the latest EY Global Information Security Survey Global information security survey – Cybersecurity report | EY - Global

    Learn why cybersecurity could be the missing link to growth Why cybersecurity could be the missing link to growth | EY - Global

Highlights from the MWC show floor

MWC Barcelona 2021  – From mainstage sessions, perusing the conference floor to one-on-one client meetings, see what EY team members were up to at this year’s event.

Photo of activities from the 28th June

Tom Loozen starts the session on business drivers and opportunities for manufacturing in the 5G era. Credits: Jack Morton

  • Customer experience: what does the new consumer look like?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to profound shifts in the way consumers behave. Globally, brands have had to change the way they interact with customers as we adapt to the “new norm” of purchasing from home. This session addressed the buying patterns and decision-making criteria that have unfolded and forced whole consumer segments to shop differently. It also focused on successful use cases and actions that have been taken in order for businesses to survive and thrive.


    Cedric Foray, EY Western Europe TMT Leader


    • Jeff Miller, President and CEO, Synchronoss Technologies
    • Roger Sendra, Managing Director Barcelona, Dentsu
    • Michael Modon, Head of Distribution Business Development, TikTok Kerstin Trikalitis, CEO & Co-Founder, Out There Media
    • Daniel Hodges, Founder and CEO, Consumers in Motion
  • Blockchain in IoT

    There are few technologies that show more promise to completely disrupt business as IoT and blockchain. The distributed nature of IoT, with millions of devices communicating in all types of scenarios, lends itself to a distributed solution to manage transactions, security and data, such as blockchain.

    This session explores how the industry is preparing to deploy solutions that will make IoT more secure, profitable and nimble for a diverse set of needs across sectors.


    Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader


    • José Luis Núñez, Global Head for Blockchain Businesses, Telefonica Tech
    • Jens Gaudaen, Vice President - Sector Lead, Technology, DHL Supply Chain
    • Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global
  • Customer experience: automating the sales pipeline

    The pandemic has forced many CMOs to make difficult decisions on how to maximize the impact of marketing initiatives and pivot to a more adaptive planning and operations approach. In order to be successful, companies need to be agile and fast to respond to digital consumer trends. Goals and objectives need to be aligned to their brand and overall business strategy. This session focused on how companies are driving engagements by understanding the customer and building trust and loyalty through the customer journey.


    Tom Loozen, EY Global Telecommunications and EMEIA TMT Leader


    • Stig Waagbø, CEO, Telenor Digital
    • Mary Clark, Chief Product Officer and P&L Leader, TMT Sector
    • Shaun Collins, Executive Chairman, CCS Insight
Photo of activities from 29th June

Elise Neel, VP, New Business Incubation, Verizon her insights on the telecom industry. Credits: Jack Morton

  • Business drivers & opportunities for manufacturing in the 5G era: what are the opportunities for telecom industry?

    Manufacturing is undergoing a major generational shift. Industry 4.0, together with the digitization and advancement of manufacturing processes and the overarching ecosystem, is set to create far more flexible, efficient and sustainable production lines. 5G for IoT underpins this transformation by providing manufacturing companies and their supply chain partners the opportunity to utilize emerging technologies such as AI and machine vision to give vastly improved visibility over all aspects of their business.

    This session focused on how modern 5G networks are able to provide tailored, capable and intelligent solutions to enhance the end-to-end manufacturing process.


    Tom Loozen, EY Global Telecommunications and EMEIA TMT Leader


    • Elise Neel, VP, New Business Incubation, Verizon
    • Stephane Gervais, EVP Strategic Innovation & Smart Data, Lacroix Group
    • Nicolas Damour, Director, Technology Partnership Development, Sierra Wireless
Photo of activities from 30th June

Tom Loozen asks Stephane Gervais, EVP Strategic Innovation & Smart Data, Lacroix Group on how to leverage emerging technologies for manufacturing companies and their partners. Credits: Jack Morton

  • How data & AI engage the customer

    With the shift to digital interactions, we now have a new kind of consumer whose behaviors, expectations and values have changed dramatically. Businesses have seen many new opportunities with the adoption of AI and data in order to help achieve and improve positive customer experiences. We are seeing more in-depth and robust customer engagement systems, which are driving that change to a new type of customer connection.

    This session highlighted successful business strategies from AI and data implementation, opportunities and challenges faced and what is in store for the new connected consumer.


    Tom Loozen, EY Global Telecommunications and EMEIA TMT Leader


    • Nigel Vaz, CEO, Publicis Sapient
    • Philippe Morin, CEO, EXFO
    • Francesco Ferro, CEO, PAL Robotics
    • Vasco Pedro, CEO & Co-Founder, Unbabel
    • Fernando Nunez Mendoza, CEO & CTO, fonYou Telecom
    • Karine Dussert-Sarthe, EVP Group Marketing, Design and Open Innovation, Orange Group
    • Mercedes Jiménez López, Director of Data Transformation and Advance Analytics, Telefonica


MWC Barcelona is one of the world’s most important technology conferences, and we value our engagement with the GSMA, the broader industry and the EY Alliance community.

About this article

By Tom Loozen

EY Global Telecommunications Leader

Fascinated by the positive impact of telecoms. Passionate musician. Enjoys educating himself on psychology, wine, sports, technology, arts and much more. Husband and father of three daughters.