Mobile Paella In Barcelona - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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2/18/2009
06:30 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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Mobile Paella In Barcelona

Mobile World Congress and Barcelona surprised me this year more than any other. I rediscovered Parc Guell, a Guadi-gingerbread-ish spectacle I'd forgotten; our audio engineer was almost mugged right in front of me on the subway -- I'd always heard of the dangers in this city; hookers were rampant on La Rambla (I'm just re

Mobile World Congress and Barcelona surprised me this year more than any other. I rediscovered Parc Guell, a Guadi-gingerbread-ish spectacle I'd forgotten; our audio engineer was almost mugged right in front of me on the subway -- I'd always heard of the dangers in this city; hookers were rampant on La Rambla (I'm just reporting here); and everyone from mobile operators to handset makers to content providers added a little spice to the mix, like a tasty paella on a midnight eating binge (again, just reporting).The New New Debate: HSPA+ vs LTE Today's big news was Verizon's decision on its LTE partners, namely Alcatel-Lucent (which was badly in need of this win), Ericsson and Starent (a lesser known, but quite a compelling equipment provider -- we'll have video with Starent's CEO later in the week). The bigger news was the big blow dealt to the already-reeling Nortel. But the big deal is that Verizon is committed to rolling this out quickly, in 2010, and these selections represent that it's time to move on. Dan Jones covers this announcement in depth here.

And it's about time. We heard plenty this week from major global players about plans to invest heavily in HSPA +, which promises to incrementally improve 3G speeds over the next couple of years, putting some pressure on the likes of Verizon and AT&T to prove the immediate case for LTE, and justify those massive investments. Light Reading talked to Vodafone about its HSPA plans in this video here (see video below), and heard from Telstra and CSL (Hong Kong) about their ongoing rollouts. We'll have more video from those announcements, but here is a quick take from Light Reading's Editor, Ray LeMaistre below.

Will This Phone Madness Ever End? Now that all of the major handset announcements are in, I'm not exactly sure which is my favorite phone (I'm partial to my BlackBerry Bold, actually), but form factor and touch screen are so last month. Now we're talking about the video capabilities of the newly announced HTC Magic (an Android phone), the 12.1-megapixel camera Sony-Ericsson announced, and the 720p (high-definition) video recording of the Samsung Omnia. At the beginning of the conference I questioned SanDisk on what it was doing making an announcement about storage for service providers to offer customers. Now I know. If you're going to make high-def video on your camera, you're going to want some nice 32Gig microSD cards. And those 8- and 12-megapixel photos come at a storage cost as well.

I didn't get to see ZTE's handset, but someone told me that it has little speakers that curve out; finally, a phone that can play some decent music.

Here's Technologizer Editor Harry McCracken's overview of the handset announcements (I make a little cameo in this one :-):

Adobe And Yahoo There's more. I've had some major discussions with Adobe and will post something more thoughtful and in depth in the space in the next couple of days. But here's a tease: Most of the reports on Adobe's mobile announcements this week (involving Flash and Flash Lite) have left a few stones unturned. There's more to this saga, and the big surprise is that the ubiquitous Flash is struggling more in mobile than Adobe is used to, and while its aggressiveness is admirable, it's not clear that it will be successful. And in a twist, it finds itself in bed with a strange ally: Microsoft. I'm not going to mention Adobe in the same breath as Chris Brown or A-Rod, but there's a story here.

And on the content side, Yahoo has a pretty slick Smart Phone experience. This essentially becomes your mobile desktop browsing environment, with all Yahoo widgets, including its mail app that comes with the ability to integrate other Internet-based messaging systems all in one place (including Gmail, AOL Mail, and others). Developers can create Yahoo widgets with the Yahoo SDK, and users can drop those apps/widgets right onto the smartphone desktop. We saw a demo on a Nokia N95, but it will work on BlackBerry, iPhone, and other smartphones. I'll have an in-depth video demo on this in the next couple of days.

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