Revisiting the highs and lows of Mobile World Congress

Sue MarekAs the wireless industry evolves, so do the major trade shows that draw all the key companies and players. There was lots of speculation leading up to last week's 2010 Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain. Many observers thought the show would suffer because of its proximity to the Chinese New Year, which was Feb. 14th, just one day before the conference started.

If the Chinese New Year did cause Asian firms to reduce the number of employees attending the show, it was not readily apparent. And the GSMA is reporting strong attendance figures. Yesterday the firm said there were 49,000 attendees (this includes delegates, exhibitors, contractors and the media) from 200 countries at the event. In addition, 54 percent of those attendees were C-level executives and 2,800 were CEOs. 

But clearly the show is changing. Industry stalwart Nokia chose not to exhibit (except through its joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks) and instead held a lot of meetings off site. And Internet player Google, which many consider a potential threat to wireless carriers, secured a prime speaking position--a keynote address by CEO Eric Schmidt, which drew a packed house.

FierceWireless' editorial team braved the stormy weather in Barcelona last week to cover all the latest news from the 2010 Mobile World Congress. You can check out all our coverage at our dedicated MWCLive site here.

On the long trip back to the U.S., the Fierce team had time to contemplate some of the themes of the show and what they mean to the industry. Clearly, some technologies and companies at MWC emerged stronger than ever. Likewise, there were those that failed to get their message across. In tough economic times, it's important for companies to make a statement at Mobile World Congress because it often sets the tone for the rest of the year.

On that note, the Fierce editorial team compiled a scorecard of the companies and technologies that we think emerged as the winners and losers at last week's confab.

Check out the MWC Scorecard:

And please use the comment section to tell us which companies made an impression on you (either positively or negatively) last week at MWC. --Sue