Barcelona prepares for Mobile World Congress (photos)
CNET is back in Barcelona for another Mobile World Congress. The show doesn't open till Monday, but preparations are in full swing at the exhibition center and across town.
Welcome to Barcelona
BARCELONA, Spain--CNET has landed in Barcelona for another Mobile World Congress. In between trying to recover from jet lag on Saturday, we traveled over to the Fira de Montjuic, where the show takes place. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed inside the grounds early this year, but we were able to catch glimpses of the massive wireless show coming together. Though the main entrance gates are quiet now, thousands of attendees will begin swarming through when the show opens on Monday.
The Fira (aka exhibition center) is at the foot of Montjuic, a large hill on the edge of town with museums, parks, a historic castle, and the stadium for the 1992 Olympic Games. Just opposite the twin towers that look like they were transplanted from Venice is Placa Espanya, one of Barcelona's main transit hubs.
With eight halls, a central avenue, and several pavilions, the Fira is a big place, and Mobile World Congress fills every bit of it. The show has become so large, in fact, that it will move next year to the Fira Europa, a new and much larger complex a few miles west between Barcelona and the airport.
At the entrance to Hall 8, where most of the handset manufacturers have their stands, Huawei is using a Pegasus to promise that something incredibly fast is about to take off. It's a new Ascend model, obviously, but what exactly will it bring?
As in previous years, Hall 6 is the exclusive domain of Sony. Though preshow leaks have been few, the company should unveil at least two new Xperia smartphones. We'll find out more at the company's press conference on Sunday evening.
As you continue to climb Montuic to the Catalan Museum of Art, you can see the full expanse of the venue. The "Font Magica" in the foreground puts on a pretty awesome water and light show a few times throughout the day.
Though Samsung isn't hosting a press conference this year, the company isn't shy about showing its face around town. This huge poster for the Galaxy Note hangs above Placa Catalunya, the city's central square at the top of La Rambla.