I’ve been following events at the MWC over the past several days and it shaped up to be a fairly interesting conference. Here I’ve summarised my thoughts on some topics of interest:

  • Mobile broadband, as ever, is a hot topic. The promise of high-speed data over 3G has floundered a bit given that there can still be fairly high latency even if transfer speeds are reasonable (though I can’t say I’ve ever achieved even close to the 3.6MBit promised by Three anywhere in London on Three’s HSDPA network). The 4G networks due to roll out in 2012 that promise bit rates in the 1 GBit/sec (!) range certainly capture interest, particularly LTE Advanced, which seems to be the front-running contender for adoption by carriers.
  • Green issues are being talked up quite a lot. Apparently a year of average mobile phone use generates 25kg of greenhouse gases.
  • Mobile advertising is on everyone’s agenda, given that conversion rates are in the 7% – 12% range vs the pitiful rates offered by internet advertising.
  • Product announcements were a bit lackluster. We have a new touchscreen Android phone, the HTC Magic from Vodafone, a new 12MP shooter from Sony Ericsson (which will run Symbian, thankfully), Nokia’s first 8MP shooter, the N86, and two new handsets from HTC: the Touch Pro 2 and TouchDiamond 2
  • The INQ1 won best mobile handset, largely on the back of their deep integration with Facebook and other social software. It certainly wasn’t the mid-tier hardware.
  • Verizon was demo’ing it’s new Novarra content adaptation system. I’m a little disappointed to see that the biggest carrier in the US is now using Novarra transcoders because they do pose real difficulties for mobile development, as I’ve blogged about previously
  • Attendance numbers were down around 15%, from 55,000 in 2008 to 47,000 this year.

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