The 2009 Mobile World Congress took place during the darkest days of last year´s recession and the mood was certainly subdued despite the attendance of approximately 47,000 mobile professionals from 182 countries. The caution among attendees seemed to confirm that most of the major players planning to move forward with 4G networks were doing so with a scaled back effort due to the economic uncertainty. Organizers touted the decision making qualities of the attendees (more than 50% of these were C-Level executives, and 9,000 of them represented mobile network operators from around the world) and this year's exhibitors seemed to concur (at least in casual conversation).
Still everyone seems quite relieved to welcome back heavy exhibition traffic for 2010 and a generally improved outlook for the future of mobile devices and the supporting infrastructure. From a microwave components perspective, the news here evolves around PA and FEM product announcements from the likes of RFMD, Skyworks, TriQuint and Anadigics (to name a few), test & measurement focus on Over the Air Testing and channel emulation from Agilent, Aeroflex, Spirent, and good old microwave backhaul (Redline, Dragonwave, Ceragon, etc.).
We will file a full report next week. For now take comfort in signs of a definite uptick in microwave activity on the wireless front as witnessed this week in Barcelona. Networks straining under the capacity crunch brought on by the popularity of smartphones will have a positive impact on the companies focused on delivering more capacity. Green concerns are also big at this show, making the investment in efficiency look ever more prudent.