21Vianet 2600Hz 3Com 3Leaf 4G 4G licensing 5G Africa Alcatel Shanghai Bell Alcatel-Lucent Alibaba Android antiitrust Apple APT Satellite Arete AT&T auction backbone Baidu Bain bandwidth base station Battery broadband cable CBN CCP censorship Cfius China China brands China FTTH China hi-tech China market China media China Mobile China Mobile Hong Kong China Telecom China Unicom chips Ciena Cisco civil society CNNIC Communist Party convergence copyright CSL cybersecurity Datang Egypt Elop Ericsson EU Facebook FDD LTE FDD-LTE feature phones Fiberhome FLAG forecasts Foxconn FTZ Galaxy S3 Google GSMA GTI handset handsets Hisilicon HKBN HKIX HKT HKTV Hong Kong HTC Huawei Hugh Bradlow Hutchison India Infinera Innovation Intel internet investment iOS iPad iPad 2 iPhone IPv6 ITU Japan KDDI KT labour shortage Leadcore low-cost smartphone LTE MAC MAE Mandiant market access Mediatek Meego Miao Wei Microsoft MIIT mobile broadband mobile cloud mobile data mobile security mobile spam mobile TV mobile web Motorola music MVNO MWC national security NDRC New Postcom Nokia Nokia Siemens Nortel NSA NTT DoCoMo OTT Pacnet Panasonic patents PCCW piracy PLA politics Potevio price war private investment Project Loon Qualcomm Reach regulation Reliance Communications Ren Zhengfei Renesys RIM roaming Samsung sanctions Schindler security shanzhai Sharp SKT Skype smartphones Snowden software Sony Ericsson spectrum Spreadtrum startups subsea cables subsidies supply chain Symbian tablets Tata Communications TCL TD LTE TD-LTE TD-SCDMA Telstra Twitter urban environment USA US-China vendor financing Vitargent Vodafone New Zealand WAC WCIT Web 2.0 web freedom WeChat WhatsApp Wi-Fi Wikileaks Wimax Windows Mobile WIPO WTO Xi Guohua Xiaolingtong Xinjiang Xoom Youku YTL ZTE

Entries in Skype (1)


Mobile World Congress instant preview

The striking thing about the GSMA confab, which kicks off today, is the presence of virtually none of the web heavyweights with mobile ambitions. Here’s what to look for (or avoid):

Handset OS wars:  A current favourite, given new life by Nokia’s embrace of Microsoft, and extra spice from Elop’s insistence that RIM doesn’t exist. It will be handsets at 30 paces when Elop and RIM’s Jim Balsillie share a platform on Wednesday.

Mobile vs. the web: Another saga; Eric Schmidt played the baddie to perfection last year and is back again for more this year with a dedicated keynote session of his own. Respect! This year the other net-centirc speakers – Chambers, Otellini, Son and Bartz - have been bottled up into one session.

Mobile traffic loads: Vendors big and small are pitching ways of smoothing out groaning traffic levels on mobile networks. Alcatel-Lucent is promising to do away with the base station altogether.

New threats: Even for the continually-disrupted telcos, the latest challenges look especially stressful, with Apple plotting its own multi-SIM phone and Facebook and PlayStation also prepping handsets. None of those will be in Barcelona, nor will Google, Twitter or Skype; along with Apple (a perennial truant) these are the web firms that will most impact on mobile.

A quick glance at the MWC conference agenda will tell you what else is preying on the minds of operators: advertising (ie, how to make money out of it), social networking (ditto), mobile money (how not to get screwed by the banks), and innovation (how to get some).

Otherwise, a bog standard telecom industry conference, with delicious tapas not quite enough to make up for congested Wi-Fi and the steep hotel tariffs. At least the rip-off roaming rates will make the cellco guys feel at home.

Update: This post has been revised to reflect that Eric Schmidt was in fact a conference speaker (I missed that he was given his own late afternoon session!).  His presentation contained nothing new, apart from announcing a video editor for the Honeycomb version of Android and unsuccessfully trying to show a demo of it, according to Ovum.