February 14, 2012 5:10 AM GMT
I'm heading to Barcelona for a couple of days of the Mobile World Congress, and wondering what to expect.
LTE. Well, the number of trial and commercial networks is growing, but I still don't see a mass market at present. I'm guessing there will be lots of compatible handsets at the event, but that the majority will carry a 'coming soon' tag (read, sometime over the next 12-18 months). Prospect of actually using a 4G network at the event also doubtful, in my view.
Video calling. I expect a lot of buzz, but little action, around video. Yes, downloads and streaming are well established, but I'm thinking video calling is still a ways off technically. And that's before you try to convince people to actually use it on a regular basis (I'm ignoring the Skype market for people who live abroad, which seems well established).
Mobile money. Facing an uphill battle thanks to recent high-profile security breach on Google Wallet, which may hurt nascent trust in the services. Perhaps better to keep an eye on what the big credit card firms have to say on this, rather than anyone from the tech industry.
Mobile handsets. The excitement here is likely to be in the low- and mid-tier sectors, which to my mind are showing the greatest innovations at present. Expect another bunch of samey, boring smartphones from the main players, but will continue to hope against hope that someone - anyone - brings some innovation to the table.
Rebuffs/alternative views welcome.