Preview: MS, NSN, SKT and the usual suspects

The GSMA shindig kicks off in Barcelona today, and that means only one thing – someone is going to have to write a preview.
 
Fortunately, the FT has got in first. It says it will be a story of two shows – the handset sector, who think they’re going to make money this year, and the network guys, who know they’re not.
 
I’ll go with that. My other fearless predictions: Microsoft will unveil its latest Windows Mobile platform
 
Nokia won’t be announcing anything, Apple won't even be there.  Google’s Eric Schmidt will be, along with usual suspects like Vodafone’s Vittorio Colao and AlcaLu’s Ben Verwaayen, and some less usual ones, like Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan.
 
The usual topics, such as security, entertainment and advertising, will get discussed. Experts will say these will help operators avoid the dreaded “dumb pipe”, and the handset guys will stifle their guffaws as they promise to “partner” with the carriers.
 
Among the first wave of announcements that landed on the weekend, Ericsson reveals it’s added HD voice to Orange’s Barcelona network. “Just like being in the same room!” said the press release
 
Ericsson will also demo 2.5Gbps microwave backhaul, and Nokia Siemens will show off 112 Mbps HSPA+ data
 
NSN has also announced something called “continuous packet connectivity” (CPC), that will extend device battery life
 
SK Telecom will be one of the few operators to brave the vendor-dominated halls, promising 007-ish technology that allows drivers to control their cars using their handsets. Just as long as they’re not texting at the same time. 

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