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Mobile World Congress, held at the Fira in Barcelona (Catalonian for fairgrounds is what I understand the word to mean), is always an exciting time for me and our company. Everyone is having back-to-back-to-back meetings and you feel the excitement of the coming year’s business. You gotta love the portable booths in the middle of the grounds, including the multiple story portable restaurants. This year’s energy certainly felt better than last year. Our booth, for instance, was so crowded I didn’t have as much time to go wander about as I’ve had in the past. A good problem to have!
But I was able to get around to a certain extent and I’d say the big message the vendors wanted to convey at MWC was “LTE.” There were multiple voice over LTE demos, some of which worked better than others, including the announcement of the VoLTE initiative. And femtocells seemed to be getting a lot of attention, even from companies who don’t do anything with femtocells. Likely it’s just a cool word for a marketing person.
Certainly the “Wholesale Applications Community” (yes, a memorable term for sure — I actually had to go back to the press release to remember this) got a lot of attention. Twenty-four of the world’s largest mobile operators, with the backing of the GSMA, coming together to drive a common app platform. All the operators trying to get control back as all these app stores I’m sure are getting a little out of control for them. Wow, just getting 24 large companies to agree on anything must have taken some effort! I wonder how long that took? This was the right place to launch this though — in the comfy home of your womb. Without Apple in, though, will it succeed wildly?
All in all, a great week and I look forward to next year!