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Fira Gran Via, home of Mobile World Congress 2013 (pictures)

Follow our CNET editors to the new home of Mobile World Congress, the Fira Gran Via, to get their press badges.

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Sarah Tew

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Kent German

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1 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bienvenidos!

Barcelona, Spain, has hosted Mobile World Congress since 2006, but 2013 is the first year that it will take place at the Fira Gran Via. Located a few miles outside the city center, the new venue opened in September 2011.
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Though it lacks the historical charm and scenic hillside location of the former venue, the Fira Montjuic, the Fira Gran Via has its appeal. Japanese architect Toyo Ito designed the bold modern buildings.
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Barcelona, which will have Mobile World Congress (MWC) until at least 2018, reminds you that it's also the Mobile World Capital. As the capital of the Spanish region of Catalonia, Catalan and Spanish are the official languages, but English is the lingua franca of the show.
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The new complex has 240,000 square meters of exhibition space across eight buildings. That's more than three times the available space at the show's previous venue.
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The twin towers in the background are Ito's interpretation of the Venetian-style towers that marked the entrance to the Fira Montjuic. And as CNET News Senior Writer Stephen Shankland observed, the red tower on the right sort of looks like a Twizzler candy.
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Though most of the complex is inside, there's plenty of outdoor space for networking under the Spanish sun.
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The Fira Grand Via is a 10-minute drive or train ride from the Fira Montjuic. It also has a direct connection to the airport.
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As it's still two days before the show officially opens, the registration area is quiet. But come Monday, this space will be jammed.
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One thing you'll see at MWC is a lot of people using their phones.
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CNET editors Eric Franklin, Lynn La, and CNET TV's Jim Phelan are part of a big team that will you bring the best of the show in words, pictures, and video.

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