Mobile World Congress: Here I Come!

Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo

I don't mind telling you: I'm excited to be attending my first Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. It's the premiere conference for all things mobile. There's so much happening and so many interesting things to see and do, it's hard to know how to organize myself. No matter what I do, I'm sure I'll feel like I'm missing something.

When I go to a conference this large with so much happening -- there are even mini conferences inside the main one -- I try to find some balance between scheduling and serendipity, but it's hard to know where the balance lies. 

I've often found that simply walking around and seeing different vendors, I can learn about new companies. Last year at CeBIT, the massive technology fair held the week after MWC in Germany, I learned about a mouse that you control with your eyes and I talked to Mozilla about the first Mozilla phone prototype just by walking the halls. I hope to find similarly interesting products walking around MWC -- I have the feeling I will.

What will I look for while I'm there? First of all, there are the tangible products. I can get my hands on some phones I've been hearing about including the new BlackBerry Q10 and Z10, the new ZTE Mozilla phone -- I'll be attending a product launch press conference -- and perhaps the new HTC One, which is garnering so much attention. I hope to see the latest Nokia offerings too and get a sense how they all compare and feel in my hands, how reactive the touch screen is and the quality of the screen resolution.

I will also be looking for trends. That means as I attend keynote sessions where executives from across the spectrum of mobile subject matter will be speaking on panels discussing broad mobile issues, I will try to find issues that will have an impact on the areas we cover here at CITEworld in the coming year. Among the keynotes I hope to cover are "Connecting the Next Billion to the Internet" featuring Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, among others.

I have the feeling we will be seeing lots of solutions aimed at IT to help secure smart phones in the Bring Your Own Device era. As IT empowers individual employees to use the devices they are most comfortable with, they still need to find ways to secure the phones and provide secure access to enterprise repositories.

And I'm sure, there will be devices and services aimed at every level of the mobile ecosystem from operators to IT to individual users. As I walk the floor meeting companies and seeing the amazing variety of offerings, I will pay close attention to those solutions that can help IT and individual users navigate the changing mobile landscape where phones are often used for both private and work uses in a single device.

I will also attend individual sessions such as "Future of the Enterprise: Can Mobility Transform the Business?" I will be meeting with vendors including Apperian, AirWatch and Webalo. I'll be attending a mini conference called "Mobile Loco" on Wednesday morning which includes speakers from Twitter, Coca-Cola, PayPal, Foursquare, ESPN, Visa, Yelp, Airbnb, MasterCard, Qualcomm, ArcSoft, Flurry and many more.

And there are parties of course too, all of which represent more than just a free glass of wine. They present more opportunities to learn about new products and services and meet directly with vendors and service providers in a more intimate setting.

So as I navigate my way through my first Mobile World Congress, I will be looking for the news and broad themes that matter most to our readers, and I will be writing and reporting back to you throughout the week and beyond. I have the feeling much of what I learn will have an impact on me throughout the year -- and you will be reading as I reference things I learned at MWC far beyond the end of the show.

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