Girl Power

3:45 PM -- The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was the hot talk at a Women in Telecoms & Technology meeting held in London earlier this week.

This wasn't a bunch of girls gathering for a good gossip about who wore what in Barcelona (although that's fun too). Rather, the attendees were entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, lawyers, CEOs, consultants... let's just say there was a lot of brain power in the room.

Shirin Dehghan, CEO of Arieso Ltd. ; Mike Short, VP for research and development at Telefónica Europe plc (O2) , and yours truly were asked to share our thoughts at the WiTT meeting on what was most interesting from the show.

Along with the unusually chilly, rainy weather during the show, the discussion covered a lot of ground: Long Term Evolution (LTE), sweating 3G assets, the mobile data deluge, femtocells, connected cars, apps, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s regulatory challenge to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), more apps, Google CEO Eric Schmidt's "mobile first" keynote address, and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), etc. (See MWC 2010: Are You Appy?, MWC 2010 Photos: Shooting the CEOs, MWC 2010 Photos: AlcaLu Booth Tour, MWC 2010 Photos: Nokia Siemens Booth Tour, MWC 2010: Scenes From Mobile World Congress, and MWC 2010: More Scenes From the Show.)

The new report, ""Women in Mobile: A Global Opportunity," which was published by the GSM Association (GSMA) and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, was also highlighted. The report revealed a gender gap in low- and middle-income countries and found that women in those countries were 21 percent less likely to own a mobile phone than men.

But really, I have to admit one other highlight of the MWC for me, since we're in a gender-specific context here: Just like other telecom industry event venues, the Fira de Barcelona was one of the few places on Earth where women didn't have to wait in line for the ladies' room.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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