The message on the second day of Mobile World Congress from the heads of AT&T, Vodafone, Telefonica, China Mobile and American Movil was unambiguous: competition, open-ness and cross-carrier interoperability are what is needed to take mobile to the next level. (Perhaps in the spirit of interoperability, all five gentlemen were wearing blue ties, mostly with dots.)

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today (Feb 15), Aricent announced the launch of its reference software framework for LTE eNodeB development, optimized on Freescale’s high performance QorIQ communications processors. This high performance reference framework provides Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) with a strong foundation on which they can build high quality base stations of different form factors.

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We're in romantic Barcelona, it's Valentine's day, and love is in the air. Specifically, if you're Steve Ballmer giving today's keynote, a whole lotta love for: Windows Phone 7, app and development partners, device partners, carriers, ecosystems, design and user experience, and especially love for Nokia. Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, returned the love by appearing on stage to give a rousing defense of the new Microsoft/Nokia partnership.

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We live in a connected world. This may sound like a trite statement at first glance, but like many coinages of this kind it has entered our collective vocabulary by moving straight from provocative insight to cliché to mainstream reality. And as I am headed to the Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona, the  largest gathering of the wireless industry (50,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors), I’m probably not the only one noticing the unique historical backdrop that underlies the event this year and gives ever more credence to the seismic economic, cultural, social, and political shifts triggered by the universal power of connectivity. The Mobile World Congress, perhaps, would be more aptly dubbed World Congress in order to describe the far-flung implications of communication technology, much of which is now mobile.

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Emerging trends in the mobile phone space suggests that the end of feature phone is very near. The market will be full of smartphones. The declining price and availability of technology are leading to fast adoption of smartphones across the globe. Companies like Samsung, Motorola, LG have launched a range of high performance smartphones with very aggressive pricing. This revolution is further fuelled by the wide adoption of the open source platform Android. Except Nokia, Apple, and RIM all the phone makers are using Android to offer ‘smart’ capabilities to their product.

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It’s that time of the year again. The trend augurs are releasing their predictions for the coming year. Except for the analyst firm Gartner, that is, which already shared its "Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011" in October this year – we shall see if the first-mover advantage will make them more accurate. The best forecast might still be the agenda for Davos, simply because many of the participants have the power to actually make the future happen.

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