Mobile World Congress kicks off in Spain

The 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off today in Barcelona, Spain, drawing thousands of attendees, from telecommunications CEOs to mobile app developers. Notable keynote speakers set to take the stage over the next three days include AT&T president and CEO Randall Stephenson, Dropbox founder Drew Houston, Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker and Nokia president Stephen Elop.

While many mobile giants launched new products at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, more are expected to make major announcements at MWC, including Huawei, which plans to unveil two new devices. Others debuted products before the show even started.

Gadgets aside, many network operators use the congress to push their wish lists, calling for increased wireless spectrum, lower taxes and this year’s hot topic: harmonization.

“It’s not just about having the right amount of spectrum. It’s critical that the spectrum is harmonized on a global basis,” said Franco Bernabe, Telecom Italia CEO, said in his MWC speech today. That would make way for cost efficiencies allowing phones and network equipment to “work across a broader part of the world,” he continued.