But that has changed just as the role of mobile technology in business has changed.
MWC is now about enterprise technology and enabling the security to allow business to make the most of mobile phones, tablets and other devices.
It is about making enterprise applications work everywhere on the network.
Increasingly it is not even about mobile phones any more.
There are so many other devices connecting via mobile networks like Internet of Things devices for running logistics systems, car sensors and location-based services that phones are taking a back seat.
Aside from the news-grabbing announcements the show is a great example of the other change in enterprise technology in recent years.
It is one of the world’s biggest networking event and chance for companies to make contacts. The future of enterprise infrastructure is hybrid which means partnerships, collaborations, interoperability and working together. These platforms are defined by software not by hardware.
In place of the traditional mega-handset announcements we heard about several new partnerships with combinations of companies promising to create enterprise tools and services to make it easier to make business truly mobile. HPE’s agreement with Tata to jointly develop its LoRa network was just one example of this.
Part of the reason for this change is the changing view of consumer and enterprise technology. Today’s workforce expects to bring and use its own devices on the corporate network.
There is no longer a division between mobile devices for work or for home – we expect our devices to do both.
We also expect enterprise applications to work just as well on our laptop or even tablet as it does on our office workstation.
The new look MWC reflects this change – mobile is not just a part of enterprise technology, in many cases it is the entirety of enterprise technology.