The 2011 Mobile World Congress officially kicked off yesterday in Barcelona, Spain, though vendors had already begun spruiking their wares before the global conference.
The big MWC news for Australians is Telstra chief executive, David Thodey, announcing the telco would launch a '4G' Long Term Evolution (LTE) network before the end of the year.
"We see the integration of LTE technology into the Next G network as a way to continue to deliver high quality services and meet growing customer demand," he said during his keynote.
Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, has revealed that it will launch LTE and HSPA+ versions of its PlayBook tablet, even though its first two models — with Wi-Fi and WiMax connectivity — are yet to hit the market. The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to be used in conjunction with a BlackBerry smartphone.
Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer, used his keynote at the conference to highlight some of the upcoming features the software giant is bringing to Windows Phone 7 including multitasking, access to SkyDrive Cloud-based storage, and Internet Explorer 9.
LG has been showing off one of the more interesting handsets at MWC: The LG Optimus 3D. It's an Android-based handset with a 4.3in three-dimensional display, a dual-core CPU and a camera capable of shooting 3D video. LG has partnered with YouTube, allowing users of the LG Optimus 3D smartphone to upload 3D footage to the video streaming site.
Unlike watching 3D movies at the cinema, which requires polarised 3D glasses, or watching films on a 3D TV, which generally requires the audience to wear active shutter glasses, the LG Optimus 3D offers glasses-free viewing. However, PC World (US) reviewer, Ginny Mies, was unimpressed with the quality of the LG Optimus 3D's display: "The affect ... is disappointing. Images don't exactly leap out at you from the display and the quality is a bit grainy and odd looking".