bbc.co.uk Navigation

Rory Cellan-Jones

Going mobile in Barcelona

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 8 Feb 08, 11:00 GMT

I'm off to to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday. Our very compact two-man team (me plus camera/lights/sound/editing specialist Peter Page) is hoping to bring BBC viewers, listener and readers coverage of the most interesting products and stories from this annual shindig of the mobile industry.

Last year was all about the iPhone - or rather fear of the iPhone. Apple's new phone wasn't out, but the established players were all rushing to bring out shiny handsets that might steal the market before its arrival.

This year the theme is not hardware but software. With Google's Android operating system just over the horizon, the battle to be the dominant operating system is hotting up. We'll have interviews with Nokia, Google, and Microsoft, who'll all be explaining why they think they should be crawling all over your mobile screen.

But Barcelona will also see the start of an experiment for this blog. Darren Waters and I are keen to start experimenting with mobile blogging, using a variety of technologies to bring you more video from key stories.

I'm taking a couple of mobiles with video capture to Barcelona, and when I'm not broadcasting for the BBC's TV and radio output, I'll be recording a few shaky clips to post on this blog. It's a modest start - and we'll hope to try various other methods over the coming weeks. Here's a quick video explanation - let us know the kind of thing you'd like to see.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 12:06 PM on 08 Feb 2008,
  • Robert Andrews wrote:

And if all those mobile vendors with MWC booths would stop emailing their irrelevant pitches, everything would be even better.

  • 2.
  • At 02:20 PM on 08 Feb 2008,
  • Fluff wrote:

Hi Rory,

I shall also be in Barcelona for the next few days. I'm especially interested in looking into the mobile internet and how it is going to grow. After all 17m people used their phones to access the mobile internet in December.
I believe it is Hall 7 (content & entertainment) that will have all of the companies in this space.

Have fun and see you there

Rory,

My company, M:Metrics, have sent a team to Barcelona. One of the guys there, Paul Goode, is an old hand at BBC interviews now, but only in a studio based setting. An interview taken on a mobile phone would be something to add to his growing list of achievements.

If you see our stand, or any of our guys, please stop and say "Hello" to them - they are all very friendly really.

Cheers.

  • 4.
  • At 03:17 PM on 08 Feb 2008,
  • Behn K wrote:

Now this is exactly what "popular videosharing website" was developed for. Can't wait for the next one.

(who said I'm getting too lazy to read the words)

Dear Rory,

Witness the future of personal computing without a PC in sight. Reminiscent of the very early days of the new "micro" computer. When, in my youth we visited computer shows, where in bars we talked about "dominance". Is dominance still on the agenda today? Is a dominant new hand-held Operating System really about to emerge?

Google is touting their Android acquisition as the new open standard that to be adopted by all. The reality is a Linux SDK they have had exclusively in their own back yard now for a couple of years, waiting for Moore’s Law to catch up on mobile phone technology. And, in a battle that may be reminiscent of IBM and its PC BIOS 25 years ago, Nokia has recently acquired its own Linux offering.

I feel a deep sense of déjà vu emerging. Software developers again wondering, will their mobile Java apps run unhindered on every platform? Will they simply and seamlessly be free to exploit all those new handheld features? And, we’re asking again, what exactly is "open"? Will we see Google’s SDK emulated on Symbian, Blackberry, Microsoft, Apple and Nokia mobile platforms? Or will each player be tuffing it out with their own proprietary standards, hoping to become "dominant".

These are exiting times perhaps, witnessing the final demise of the PC and its trail of operating system obesity. Witness ascendancy of the new lean and mean. Witness the rise of the "App". Mobile applications are where the business is heading. Perhaps just a new phase to the war on the web we’ve been seeing recently? Where are the start-ups carving out a modest niche for themselves? Have we already arrived at (that other word) consolidation and a vying for "dominance"?

Will choice prevail, or will dominant individual email, instant messenger, and media sharing apps rule the roost? Or emerge, the single dominant integrated "social" suite of applications? Or emerge an "open" Social SDK on both mobile and web? So how does the web business model survive with advertising being squeezed off our tiny screens?

So Rory, enjoy Barcelona. If there is a tapas bar at Mobile World Congress, then you’ve got plenty to sit and talk about. Just watch the wobble-vision afterwards!

I'm really interested in the fact that Nokia is *expected* to launch the N96 very soon.

Good Stuff Gents..We'll see ya there!

Well, you have one more youtube subscriber.

I'm also interested to hear what Nokia have to offer - especially if it's a new music phone - this time with a decent camera too. (Believe it or not I'm still using APS film)

  • 9.
  • At 06:56 PM on 08 Feb 2008,
  • Tom Cooksey wrote:

While you're out there, could you check out the Trolltech stand for us please?

Nokia are about to buy Trolltech and use their technology in all up-coming Nokia devices. I think it would be very interesting to see what they have on offer to make Nokia buy them, rather than going with GTK+ or Android.

Might be a chance to catch a glimpse of things to come from the largest phone manufacturer in the world!

  • 10.
  • At 11:52 PM on 08 Feb 2008,
  • Paul Murtagh wrote:

Really looking forward to find out whats announced this year. The quicker you can get the reports to us the better. Really interested to hear about Android and Nokia new touch sensitive OS.

  • 11.
  • At 12:06 AM on 09 Feb 2008,
  • Alan Clelland wrote:

Another YouTube subscriber here too :)

I hope you have time to cover the IMGA awards where Dynamo Games are the only UK company nominated and they have two games nominated :)

Enjoy,

One thing a lot of people have ignored is screen resolution on mobiles. Currently only the iPhone has upped the stakes here - I'm REALLY interested to see if Nokia will bring out devices with better resolution than their current 320x240 staple on items such as the N95 8GB. Indeed I think this is the unit's only downfall, great size screen but very low res for today's media-centric mobile world.

I have heard rumours that Nokia would introduce some new mobiles with an increased screen resolution which would make the PIM function of their phones more impressive - emails would now be able to be read easily, web pages rendered better and so on.

The N95 8GB flagship has brought Nokia to the fore in my opinion - the firmware update recently means I can now browse sites with Flash and even watch embedded YouTube clips on a site whilst browsing on the phone...amazing. I think screen resolution increases will take things to the next level.


Well, too bad my publisher could not afford to send me to Barcelona. I'll be watching this space and others like it for images and videos that I could in my posts.

I'm especially interested in any Android or Linux sw or hw since the blog I write (http://openandroids.com) for is Android-focused.

  • 14.
  • At 01:23 PM on 09 Feb 2008,
  • James L wrote:

Hi Rory

I'm interested to see any camera phones with Omnivision's Truefocus.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaQJAafAltk

You might want to try ShoZu (www.shozu.com) for your mobile video blogging. It doesn't interrupt your normal use of the phone and trickles the data to its destination in the background whenever there's a signal available (which is sporadic at the Barcelona show, as you'll be aware).

Femtocells will be very hot at the show this year. There will be news of technology trials, but more interesting is the new services that femtocells enable on mobile phones at home (see http://3ginthehome.wordpress.com/2008/01/29/femtozone-services-the-connected-home/).


Well, too bad my publisher could not afford to send me to Barcelona. I'll be watching this space and others like it for images and videos that I could in my posts.

I'm especially interested in any Android or Linux sw or hw since the blog I write (http://openandroids.com) for is Android-focused.

Hi Rory,

My team are often asked about the volume / value of 'content' consumed on mobile phones - ringtones / gaming / full music track downloads etc and what the future is likely to look like within these monitised mobile markets - our booth will be situated in Hall 7, number 7E58 - would love to give some content for your mobile blog!

David

  • 18.
  • At 06:51 PM on 09 Feb 2008,
  • James L wrote:

I'm interested in seing the camera phones which has Omnivision's revolutionary product called Truefocus.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaQJAafAltk

  • 19.
  • At 09:09 PM on 09 Feb 2008,
  • James L wrote:

I'm interested in seing the camera phones which has Omnivision's revolutionary new product called Truefocus.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaQJAafAltk

"The Thing is King".

WMC still has the big business to business fair feel about it, but even with the proliferation of services / network techs end buyers still have a physical tolerance/monetary budget for 1 maybe 2 devices when they're out and about (notwithstanding carrying corporate blackberries and niche iphones)

Whilst debates range round who wins in the proliferation of applications / services, social networks, common OSs, air interfaces, content etc..."the thing is king" still favours Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HTC and who knows perhaps even Dell/Google?

Roll on Barcelona!

"The Thing is King".

WMC still has the big business to business fair feel about it, but even with the proliferation of services / network techs end buyers still have a physical tolerance/monetary budget for 1 maybe 2 devices when they're out and about (notwithstanding carrying corporate blackberries and niche iphones)

Whilst debates range round who wins in the proliferation of applications / services, social networks, common OSs, air interfaces, content etc..."the thing is king" still favours Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HTC and who knows perhaps even Dell/Google?

Roll on Barcelona!

  • 22.
  • At 01:10 AM on 10 Feb 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

I'd like to see and hear some discussion about costs. The technology is 'fab' but until the costs of these vibrant communication techniques falls within everybody's budget we have a devisive technology

Hi Rory,
That's a great idea for people who want to see what's goin on in Barcelona.
About the Internet "content" for mobile phones: I think this we have a false problem.
We should focus on how to make the normal Internet content available on the phone, not to alter the content to make it fit the small screen. And yes, this is a sfotware challenge too.

  • 24.
  • At 05:41 PM on 10 Feb 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

I'm attending the show and am interested in educational content opportunities. Does anyone from the publishing, operator or hardware sectors have similar ambitions who would like to meet up?
Tim

I'm waiting for the real hot issue of this year to be addressed: Mobile Payments. Although the GSMA mobile money transfer initiative will address an aspect of this (mobile remittance) later today, the real question is, how fast will m-payments become a mass market solution and with whom? We have our own research and analysis on this, but I'm interested to know how my fellow delegates see it.

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC.co.uk