Mobile World Congress To Set Tongues Wagging

Written by Ken Young, whose own blog is called The UK Mobile Report.

The Mobile World Congress, formerly known as 3GSM, will bring 13,000 companies and some 100,000 visitors to Barcelona next week. The show, which runs Monday through Thursday, is the mobile equivalent of the CES show in Las Vegas. There will be hundreds of announcements, but as ever, the big vendors are likely to grab most of the headlines.

Yahoo will be there to talk about its mobile strategy. Microsoft will be there too, and may be in spin mode for reasons other than its Yahoo bid — it’s about to announce an alliance with Nokia that will put its operating system on some Nokia devices, according to

Nokia will also have some explaining to do. Stories are circulating that it has a successor to the very popular Nokia N95 phone in the works. The Register is reporting that a web page outlining the tech spec of the device was spotted on a German web site — then quietly removed.

All of them will set aside time to go to the ARM booth, where the physical reality of a Google phone will be coming to life for the first time. Chip maker ARM will be demonstrating phones that use ARM chips and Google’s much talked about Android operating system.

But you never know, maybe the highlight of the event will be the small Israeli firm Modu, with its tiny, 1.5-ounce phone that can take on a range of personalities depending on the outer “jacket” in which you slot it.

Of course, the real winner will be the city of Barcelona. Hotels are 99 percent booked for three days solid, and top hotels like the Eurostars Grand Marina are charging $1,400 per night — and up.