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8/2/09

This is my guide to visiting Barcelona. It’s a great city. Except when Mobile World Congress rolls into town. Then you can’t get an hotel room, the bars are full and Taxis as scarce as an MMS from an iPhone user.

So here is my guide to making it bearable.

If you want to get a sense of the place and don’t have much time do it from the air. The  Barcelona Helicopter  city tours are a great way to see the whole place in one go in half an hour. Why not take a customer for a bonding experience.

For surprisingly good Tapas the cafe attached to   El Cafe  is here and great, they have apartments too which would be a great way to have a retreat during the show. The cafe is a bit small so I hesitate to recommend it now that this site has so many visitors, but if you do get in try the scrumptious ham.

A great English- speaking bar, out of the way is Dusk Bar, you might find me hanging out there.

Of course the Americans love the show having moved to Spain because they all learnt Spanish at school while the Brits all learnt French so preferred Cannes.

One of the companies I had hoped to catch up with at the show isn’t there, but their technology is cool so I want to share it with you. Coresonic makes what would have been called software defined radio except it’s kind of in hardware, albeit flexible hardware, and SDR has such a bad name everyone who knows runs a mile. I’ll try to catch up with Rick Clucas,  the boss of Coresonic, I knew Rick when he was the CTO of ARC the configurable chip company that made its name by putting a RISC processor in Nintendo games cartridges. Techies say what Coresonic have done is impossible until they look at it. It’s what would be called Software Defined Radio, except it’s a special processor to do the software. This means it works (which other software defined radio does not - yet)  and can do multiple radio standards fast, low power and cheaply. But what really appeals to me is that the chip could be made to do CDMA2000, WCDMA and TD-SCDMA so one phone could be sold to all the Chinese 3G licensees. They see the strength as for LTE and WiMax but as lots of these columns have said technology doesn’t move as fast as we expect it. We’ve had 3G live for six years and 70% of users are still on GSM.

Other things to watch out for at the show are a rash of Android phones from companies which are not known for making phones, Acer, Asus and rumours of Dell. The strange Dutch car manufacturer Spyker is expected to have a phone too.

And for the UK readers I’d like to point you at the Bus Slogan Generator. This will let you generate your own ads in the style of the Atheist Bus Campaign. This aimed to raise £5500 to promote atheist thinking as a balance to religious advertising. It has nothing to do with mobile phones but I thought it cool so posted it on Twitter. Follow me on twitter for more of this kind of stuff.

But whatever you do in Barcelona, keep your valuables close. Those kids on motorbikes are cruising to snatch handbags and laptop cases. Don’t go out for your Rioja until you’ve safely locked your bag away.

I’d love more tips on making the most of Barcelona. Please feel free to comment below. I won’t even mind if you use it for self-promotion of your products or services.

Cat Keynes publishes her thoughts on the mobile phone industry every Sunday at www.catkeynes.com you can read the column  the previous Friday by subscribing here.

 

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