MWC 2009 Preview

5:05 PM -- Ah, Barcelona in the spring, its a wonderful thing -- and Unstrung will soon be there, basking in the mild sunshine and talking wireless at the Mobile World Congress 2009, which takes place between February 16th and the 19th.

It is safe to assume that the economy will be the key topic at this year's massive mobile show, even if wireless is proving to be a little more resilient in the downturn than, say, the U.S. motor industry. I suspect that mobile executives and staff will probably turn down the triumphant tone of wireless confidence and power found at previous MWC events, at least a notch or two. Nonetheless, there will be plenty of other news and views at the show. Here's just a taste of some the announcements, issues, and topics we expect to see addressed.

In terms of the technology we're expecting to see at the booths and getting talked up at keynotes and press conferences:

  • Early Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployments and late-stage tests
  • Femtocells of all shapes and sizes
  • Android handsets and applications
  • Ever-more tiny mobile Internet devices (MIDs)
  • Further integration of social networking applications with mobile devices, expecially video and location services
Technology and business issues we expect to hear a lot about at the show:

  • How much to charge for that shiny new femtocell
  • How smartphones provide a bright spot in the economic downturn for handset makers
  • Will there actually be enough spectrum available globally to deploy so-called 4G services?
  • Cutting capex and opex costs for wireless broadband while still coping with the increasing public appetite for mobile data
  • Lessons from the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) rollout so far (probably with some giggles from an LTE-centric sudience)
Keynoters will include Vittorio Colao, the new CEO of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD); Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) big cheese Steve Ballmer; and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) head Olli Pekka Kallasvuo -- as well as actor, Kevin Spacey!

So stayed turned for videos, news, and views from your very own wireless Usual Suspects here at Unstrung.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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