What? No iPhone?

12:15 PM -- The mobile industry zoo that is 3GSM kicked off today in Barcelona. We already know that the weather, the patatas bravas, and pick-pocketing are hot here in Barcelona, but what else is likely to create a buzz during the next four days?

Heavy Reading's wireless firebrand, Patrick Donegan, is disappointed primarily by a major no-show. "The iPhone is the device that everyone wants to see, but Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) doesn't appear to have a stand. That's pretty interesting!" (See 114294 iPhone Sticker Shock 'n' Awe.)

And sure enough, a gazillion companies have stands at the event -- from 1 Ltd. to Zynetix -- but there's no Apple.

Donegan also reckons IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) won't get as much attention it did last year, but that wireless backhaul technology will be a key focus for carrier executives as their early HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) subscribers start to generate data traffic.

Both Donegan and Gabriel Brown, the laconic Chief Analyst at Unstrung Insider believe mobile Web 2.0 developments -- mobile advertising, search engines, social networking, and so on -- will be the biggest theme this year. "Taking the online communities and capabilities mobile -- that's going to be the buzziest thing this year," reckons Brown.

Brown picks out femtocells (mini 3G base stations) as star turns and reckons mobile TV's DVB-H crowd will be making as much noise as possible, as they have been outflanked by Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and its MediaFlo offer, which was today chosen by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) for its mobile TV offer.

For more on what 3GSM will bring, see Tech Roundup: 3GSM .

— Ray Le Maistre, Tapas Editor, Light Reading

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