Mobile World Congress: Barcelona's phone fest
- 25 February 2013
- From the section Technology
The BBC tech team will be providing frequent updates to this page throughout Barcelona's Mobile World Congress to keep you up to date with developments.
Monday 1700 GMT
As Day One of Mobile World Congress draws to a close, there has been a reminder of the tough economic times faced by its Spanish hosts.
Workers from Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica protested against job cuts outside the entrance of the conference.
They wore bags over their heads which read "Yes, I'm profitable".
Monday 1600 GMT
No Mobile World Congress would be complete with a raft of demos. Here, Rory Cellan-Jones finds out about streaming ultra-HD video over wi-fi from a phone to a TV. Such technology could turn the humble mobile phone into the ultimate gaming console, according to LG - the firm behind it.
Meanwhile Click's Richard Taylor has been finding out how Japanese outfit Morpho is using high-powered processing in a smartphone to take two images, one of the foreground and one of the background, almost simultaneously. Users can then adjust the level of creative blurring to enhance photos. It was also showcasing its powerful image stabilisation technology. See his Tout video here
He has also been looking at some wearable tech - in the form of AR spectacles, similar to Google Glass.
Monday 1530 GMT
The BBC's Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tweets: "Whatever question you throw at him Nokia's Stephen Elop is always the most amiable of tech CEOs."
There has been a lot of interest around Nokia's newly announced £13 phone, its cheaper Lumia smartphones and the company's strategy going forward. See the full interview below with Rory below.
Monday 1500 GMT
Last year MWC created a mocked-up house full of mobile technology that can help around the home. This year it has gone one step further with a connected city. Dougal Shaw has visited and sent this Tout video.
Here he explains what the city is all about:
A section of Mobile World Congress has been devoted to the 'Connected City' this year, where companies can showcase how smart, wireless tech can have a direct impact on our day to day lives.
AT&T is displaying tech for the home, where an app combined with sensors in various appliances, allows you to control your fridge, house temperature, and lighting from afar - and even feed your pet.
There are also bikes which are fully 'online', allowing for the monitoring of everything from pedal power to blood glucose levels.
And there is a car from Volvo with its own app store, allowing - the company says - your smartphone to be integrated into the car's entertainment and travel information system in a safe way.
Monday 1330 GMT
Mobile World Congress is not just about handsets, it is also about the networks they run on and this year everyone is going to be talking about the reality of living with 4G.
The UK was somewhat late to the 4G party, compared to other European nations, but later today Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE will take to the stage to talk about how his firm is finding the new technology.
He will reveal that over a quarter of EE's 4G traffic comes from video - 11% of that from YouTube usage - as consumers realise the benefits of a fast, reliable connection.
EE faces competition soon as the other main UK operators roll out their own 4G networks. There is also likely to be a price war with Three already saying it will charge no premium for its own next-generation offering.
To date, EE has been somewhat coy about the number of subscribers making the switch but Mr Swantee will reveal that the firm has seen sales growth of 10% every week since launching in November.
Interestingly businesses are finding 4G a must-have technology - EE has seen over 1,000 corporations making the switch.
Mr Swantee will also talk up the the way new networks are changing devices, with bigger handsets that make it easier to watch movies and view other video content proving popular.
4G is helping to herald " a golden age of mobile", he will conclude.
Monday 1100 GMT
The news from Barcelona is coming thick and fast although not all of it is happening on the ground.
Samsung has chosen to launch its new Galaxy S smartphone on March 14 in New York, after apparently being bombarded with requests from US mobile carriers to launch it on American soil.
Looking to markets even further afield, BlackBerry launched it first BlackBerry 10 smartphone in India at a price of 43,490 rupees ($800; £528) while Nokia has refocused on the basic handset market, with a 15 euro (£13) phone.
The Nokia 105, which will go on sale later this quarter, is the successor to the 1280, which sold more than 100 million units, according to the company.
It also revealed lower priced versions of its Lumia handsets.
It is still going to be a tough job for Nokia to catch up with rivals Apple and Google though, think analysts.
"Nokia has only sold 14 million Lumia devices so far - not enough to establish Windows Phone 8 as the third ecosystem," said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson.
"More challenging for Nokia is to capture high-end market share - in the light of the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement. The two new Lumia devices coupled with the amazingly affordable Nokia 105 device however highlight the massive growth to be expected in emerging markets and the opportunity to target the second wave of smartphone owners," he added.
Rory Cellan-Jones took a look at some of the cheaper Lumias. Watch his Tout video here
Monday 0900 GMT
Rory Cellan-Jones and video journalist Dougal Shaw are heading down to Mobile World Congress to find out how smart cities will help to power the cities of the future. Take a look at the venue before the crowds descend in Dougal's Tout video.
Monday 0630 GMT
The GSMA - organisers of MWC - predicts mobile operator data revenues will overtake voice revenues globally by 2018. It suggests health-related apps will be one of the biggest draws - and the software could end up saving hundreds of billions of pounds worth of medical costs.
Sunday 1700 GMT
Mozilla's new mobile operating system gets off to a strong start with news that it has secured 18 mobile operator partners and nine launch markets. ZTE, LG and Huawei are among those on board.
Tony Cripps, principal device analyst at Ovum, is impressed but warns of problems ahead.
"That is a huge achievement for what, in fairness, has looked like an underdog among the plethora of alternative software platforms currently vying to power the so-called 'third ecosystem'," he writes.
"Windows Phone, Blackberry 10, and Tizen all look like better bets on the surface. As such, the Mozilla Foundation and its early sponsors, especially Telefonica, deserve considerable credit.
"The real acid test for Firefox OS and its long-term prospects is the quality of the software itself and the user and developer experiences that it fosters. However, it will be difficult to say whether it meets those needs sufficiently until we have seen retail devices. What is clear from the Firefox OS demonstration handsets that we have seen was that they are still some way from being market ready, being both slow and buggy."
Richard Taylor, editor of Click, has been taking a look at Firefox OS and you can see his Tout video here
Sunday 1430 GMT
Huawei unveils its latest handset, the Ascend P2. The 4.7in device is said to be the "world's fastest" thanks to a new kind of 4G chip - but has a smaller screen than the D2 which the Chinese firm unveiled at the Las Vegas CES tech convention in January.
The firm - which some analysts say is now the world's third biggest smartphone vendor - secures a large turnout for its Barcelona news conference at the Casa Llotje de Mar, a former stock exchange. It also unveils its new marketing campaign which will use "make it possible" as its slogan.
Read Rory's blog on who may win the much-coveted third spot behind Apple and Android
Sunday 1010 GMT
Rory tweets he's in town.
Sunday 1000 GMT
Asus's viral marketing campaign is causing a stir ahead of its announcement on Monday.
The campaign takes Barcelona's famous statue of Christopher Columbus and makes it appear he is talking into a large phone/tablet.
Tech sites are convinced this heralds the unveiling of the firm's Intel-powered FonePad, which Taiwan's Digitimes news site has already said will launch at MWC.
Sunday 0200 GMT
Samsung kicks off the Mobile World Congress news via a pair of press releases rather than an event. They detail news of the Galaxy Note 8.0 featuring an 8in (20.3cm) screen.
An email from Samsung highlights that it launched a tablet with a 7in screen in 2010 and claims its new device will "reignite the mid-size tablet category". The move is presumably designed to help it compete against Apple's iPad Mini - which has a 7.9in screen - which has proved more popular.
Sunday 0100 GMT
The BBC's Mobile World Congress coverage is under way with a preview by Jane Wakefield and a look at how big phones can get before you start suffering from wrist ache.
We'll be running this blog as well as a special video section on the Technology page throughout the event.
Our technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, will be supported on the ground in Barcelona by Dougal Shaw, Harriet Noble and Neil Drake as well as the Click team, while the regular tech squad will pull all the other snippets of news together from London.