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Barcelona braces for Mobile World Congress 2015 (pictures)

The mammoth trade show, devoted to smartphones and mobile networking, officially starts March 2, but preparations are already well under way.

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Stephen Shankland
Mobile World Congress moved to the Fira Gran Via in 2013, a more remote location with a more spacious conference hall.
1 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Fira Gran Via in Barcelona

Mobile World Congress moved to the Fira Gran Via in 2013, a more remote location with a more spacious conference hall.

The flat look isn't just for newer versions of Windows, Android, and iOS. Intel, too, adopted the look for its ads near the Fira Gran Via.
2 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Intel goes flat with MWC ads

The flat look isn't just for newer versions of Windows, Android and iOS. Intel, too, adopted the look for its ads near the Fira Gran Via.

At Mobile World Congress 2015, Samsung bought rights to the big posters in the Barcelona airport terminals. This ad touts the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, a 2014 model that will be upstaged by the newer if smaller Galaxy S6 phone at the show.
3 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ad

At Mobile World Congress 2015, Samsung bought rights to the big posters in the Barcelona airport terminals. This ad touts the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, a 2014 model that will be upstaged by the newer (if smaller) Galaxy S6 phone at the show.

Hotel Porta Fira
4 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Hotel Porta Fira

The Hotel Porta Fira, tri-lobed and red, is a distinctive landmark next to Mobile World Congress.

Chinese device manufacturer Huawei touted its high-end P7, G7, and Mate7 Android devices at the Barcelona airport baggage claim.
5 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Huawei ads in Barcelona

Chinese device manufacturer Huawei touted its high-end P7, G7 and Mate7 Android devices at the Barcelona airport baggage claim.

Samsung will unveil its next big smartphone, the Galaxy S6, at a Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. This giant billboard is next to the Fira Gran Via, where the show takes place.
6 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Samsung teaser at MWC

Samsung will unveil its next big smartphone, the Galaxy S6, at a Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. This giant billboard is next to the Fira Gran Via, where the show takes place.

Wondering what hashtag to use for your Mobile World Congress 2015 tweets? Answer: #MWC15.
7 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Hashtag #MWC15

Wondering what hashtag to use for your Mobile World Congress 2015 tweets? Answer: #MWC15.

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8 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

L'Hospitalet de Llobregat curries favor

Mobile World Congress attendees grumbled in 2013 when the show moved away from its earlier location closer to central Barcelona to an industrial area west in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, but the latter's city government is trying to make attendees feel better about the new digs. The more remote location means a lot more transit woes, especially for those traveling to off-site events at hotels in Barcelona.

The Fira Gran Via was quiet Saturday, but the vast registration hall is bracing for the onslought of tens of thousands of attendees.
9 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

MWC registration

The Fira Gran Via was quiet Saturday, but the vast registration hall is bracing for the onslought of tens of thousands of attendees.

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10 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Fira Gran Via flags

Samsung bought out the Fira Gran Via flags for Mobile World Congress 2015, too.

It's not by Barcelona's most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, but the Fira Gran Via conference center does embrace some swoopy curves that go beyond the usual big-box look.
11 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swoopy Fira Gran Via

It's not by Barcelona's most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, but the Fira Gran Via conference center does embrace swoopy curves that go beyond the usual big-box look.

Underneath the Samsung ads, European carrier Vodafone bought video ad space to tout its 4G network service.
12 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Vodafone 4G

Underneath Samsung ads, UK carrier Vodafone bought video ad space to tout its 4G network service.

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