Mobile World Congress starts revving its engine early

The tech trade show, devoted to smartphones, tablets, and just about anything that connects to a mobile network, is getting under way in Barcelona.

A cyclist rides past the Mobile World Congress entrance, still empty before the throngs of attendees arrive Monday.
A cyclist rides past the Mobile World Congress entrance, still empty before the throngs of attendees arrive Monday. Stephen Shankland/CNET

BARCELONA, Spain -- Mobile World Congress doesn't start until Monday -- but for many, the show's already on.

The massive conference, devoted mostly to mobile phones and the mobile networks that support them, attracts thousands of people to this Mediterranean city in Catalonia, Spain's northwest province and an area that's been spared some of the country's recent economic woes. To put the production on, hundreds already are busy building booths, registering attendees, hanging advertising banners, trying to get attention with promotional entertainments, and schmoozing in preshow meetings.

For a look at the show so far, check CNET's gallery of Mobile World Congress getting under way.

The show has been expanding not only its profile but its scope too. This year, many more mobile and networked devices will be on display.

That includes wearable computing gadgets as well as technology to connect cars, homes, and city infrastructure. That awkward industry buzzword, "the Internet of things," is now a theme for many companies trying to find new markets for their wares.

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World Congress
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