My adventures at MWC 2013 or Barcelona, ​​There and back

    Hi Habr!

    Many of us already have a huge baggage of experience gained during travel, dozens of exhibitions, conferences, flights and trips, business trips and walks, foreign and not only.

    In this topic, I will talk about how I first traveled to Barcelona at Mobile World Congress 2013, how I got to the Spanish police before I could leave the plane, about hiking in Barcelona at night and about my personal impressions of the stands of almost all the companies that I listed in tags to this topic.

    If you are an experienced traveler, perhaps my story will allow you to recall your first adventures away from home, but if you only dream of visiting the MWC in the future, you will be interested to know how this actually happens, using my own example.

    By the way, 4040 words and 25 illustrations are waiting for you inside. Not a joke :)

    Finding MWC Pass

    It all started about a month before the trip - my Facebook feed was flooded with many offers to win an entrance ticket to MWC “just by sharing the link among all friends”. After a little acquaintance with the rules, it turned out that “sharing” the link was offered for two weeks, gaining points for each transition on it, and only a dozen winners would receive tickets, whose share of attracted people would be the highest. During the day, the number of people attracted by such a “pyramid” grew by more than a thousand, and I did not participate in this attraction of unprecedented generosity.

    I simply didn’t decide to simply buy and buy a ticket for a rather banal reason - the cost of the usual Exhibition Visitor Pass (EVP) was € 699, Silver Pass € 2199, Gold Pass € 2699 and Platinum Pass € 4999.

    The next option was to receive a “gift” ticket from large companies. Registration on the Samsung website for the Samsung Developers Day event ended before I managed to find out about it, but registration from Nokia was open. In order to qualify for a promotional pass, I did answer a small questionnaire, but preference was clearly given to those who already attended to getting a ticket in advance. It was also proposed to put an inconspicuous checkmark on participation in the “Sotavento event”, which turned out to be an invitation to the Nokia App Developer party, in the Sotavento night club of the same name.

    As usual with Nokia, everything went in a rather mysterious way, first I left an e-mail for pre-registration, then I registered during open registration, a week later I received an e-mail about the beginning of registration “for pre-registered”, but re-register on my e -mail could no longer. For the sake of fidelity, I registered for an alternative e-mail (I entered the same information in both profiles), and two weeks before the exhibition I received two e-mails: one about successful registration for an alternative e-mail (but without providing MWC Pass) and the second with an apology about refusal of registration (on the main e-mail). Why so is a mystery covered in darkness.

    Then I decided to go in a more complicated way and apply for the MWC Press Pass. To do this, you should fill out a questionnaire and provide links to your published materials (at least five links, with a publication period of at least six months before the exhibition), supporting materials from the publisher (for example, a letter of recommendation from the editor-in-chief), as well as PDF documents with publications if they are appeared in the print press. Having enlisted the support of the editorial office of one of the largest Russian IT publications, and providing the whole set of requested information (including links to publications in Russian, including), I began to wait.

    Meanwhile, several familiar developers from neighboring cities received their tickets, mainly due to cooperation with foreign companies that have their own stand at MWC. Suddenly, exactly on schedule (seven business days from the date of submission of the documents), I received my Press Pass. Hurrah!

    It turned out that the number of “opportunities” for the press was much greater than for ordinary visitors, although I was not able to take advantage of most of them. Having requested an invitation letter, I received it on time - three days later (these were two PDF sheets in English and Spanish, with a scanned signature of a GSMA representative of disgusting quality, about 100 dpi). With this invitation, I got a Schengen visa for a month without any problems.

    At about the same stage, inspired by success, I strategically made the wrong decision - to introduce austerity regime, and therefore I bought plane tickets the cheapest of the possible ones. An acceptable option seemed the flight Kiev-Girona (airport about 120 km from the center of Barcelona) of the Hungarian airline WizzAir. Arrival time is nine in the evening of February 24, just before the penultimate bus to Barcelona. Let me remind you, this year MWC was held from February 25 to 28.

    Departing from the new Terminal A of Kiev Zhuliany Airport, I drew attention to the very loyal attitude of the airport employees towards passengers. For example, despite the ticket restrictions on the number of cabin baggage (1 seat), passengers were allowed to take more than one bag, etc.

    Finally, the flight began and our A320 slowly began its three-hour flight. Placing myself in an armchair by the aisle, I plunged into a fascinating reading of the book Singapore History: From the Third World to the First, and the passenger in front of me began watching the movie on his laptop.


    However, as soon as the plane landed and the passengers fastened their seat belts, to the right of me I passed, or rather, “half crawled”, a passenger of 35–40 years old, and fell upon a passenger sitting in an armchair in front of me. After a second, it became clear that the purpose of this campaign was blatant aggression, in a darkened passenger compartment a standing passenger struck blows to the seated (and to the strapped-in passenger). As soon as the landing gear touched the landing strip, from the shaking, the aggressive passenger “switched” to me, and immediately struck me in the face, as they say. Having taken a defensive position, I dodged, simultaneously dropping the tablet (from which I was reading) to the floor, but the situation changed dramatically - they began to choke me, forcefully squeezing my neck and Adam's apple with my fingers. The involuntary creepy wheezing from the air coming out of my lungs scared me, for the first time, the thought flashed through my head that this incident could end badly for me. Only at this point did one of the passengers (friends of the first victim) get rid of the seat belt and pull the attacker away from me. During all this time, none of the flight attendants appeared in the cabin, and none of the passengers stood up to intervene.

    Finally, over the speakerphone in the cabin of a plane that had already stopped, it was announced that the fight in the cabin was an exceptional situation, and therefore no landing would be made before the police arrived. The stewardess handed me a wet towel to stop the blood from the abrasions she received. That's how I arrived in Spain.

    In the police

    Before the appearance of the police, in the cabin vigorously discussed what had happened. To begin with, they stated the obvious - the attacker is intoxicated, and how it was allowed to go on the plane in this form is not clear. Obviously, he could not reach the “condition” by drinking alcohol at a cost of € 2 per 50 ml. The cause of the conflict was a crush in the passenger compartment of the bus that was carrying passengers to the ramp. Even there, the first victim and attacker started a verbal conflict, which eventually turned into a fight, but our "anti-hero" was so drunk that he simply could not distinguish who he beat and strangled.

    Four Spanish policemen went into the cabin of the aircraft, “arrested” (just brought out under their arms) the attacker, the first victim, me, and, apparently for reliability, a couple of friends who were acquaintances of both sides of the conflict, not really understanding “who is who” - because English of the four guards, no one understood. With grief in half, an English-speaking policeman was found in the airport building, who quickly explained that if we write a “waiver of claims”, everything is resolved quickly, but if we state the fact of a fight, we are delayed, at least until tomorrow. After weighing all the pros and cons (after all, the exhibition is tomorrow morning, and the time is already late), we decided to abandon the claims.

    It took "just something" one hour. Having recorded all the data and made copies from the passports, we (me and the second passenger) were quickly and quickly taken to passport control. Smiling, the passport control officer took our passports and ... He put us the departure stamps on the 24th. Again, searches for English-speaking workers, explanations that we have just arrived - and now we spend another half hour in the neighboring police station, which deals with passport control issues. Finally, we get a stamp on entry, crossed out stamps on departure and get into the waiting room - after all, the bus left for Barcelona a long time ago, and the next at midnight. Only me, a few other passengers waiting for the morning flight and, rightly, an aggressive passenger in the company of three friends, who were also late for the bus, remain in the waiting room. I don’t know if the concept of “happiness” is applicable here, but the level of alcoholic intoxication of an aggressive passenger was such that he was simply not able to recognize the purpose of his aggression in me. For a long time he was wondering why I refuse to join “his company” since I, too, “for some reason” were late for the bus.

    Considering that I will arrive at my place of residence in Barcelona much later than expected, I decided to warn the landlady (I found housing with AirBnB). This is where the first IT surprises began. Firstly, despite the praised “hundreds of countries” with roaming, my “national” operator TriMob was not friendly with any of the Spanish mobile operators, and Wi-Fi at the airport was offered only paid.

    Free Wi-Fi was available at MacDonalds, which due to the late time was already closed (along with its Internet access point, which is very surprising). Filled with the desire to use a paid service (curious), I found out that you can pay for Wi-Fi only with a credit card. Having prepared the card, I connect to the network - they ask for a username and password. Feel free to click on registration - yeah, the Spanish version. We find switching to the English version of the site, we wait further ... What a surprise, only the main page has been translated. To continue, you need to register in Spanish from about 15 points that are completely unintuitive. Or simply purchase a SIM card with mobile Internet at the nearest Movistar kiosk. Unfortunately closed due to the late time. In general, he was left alone, without access to the Internet.

    Barcelona at night

    Arriving in Barcelona at half past one in the night with the passengers of a late French flight, I discovered a closed metro and complete "Internet addiction" of all services for determining the route of night buses.

    Having estimated the distance to the place of residence as “probably 5 kilometers”, I went hiking. Before the start of the trip, I did not take into account two things - the first is the night air temperature (near zero) and the second - that the throat after an attempt to strangle has a disgusting property of terrible pain. I comforted myself only with the revealed beauties of the night city, and the cost of a taxi (€ 50-60) encouraged my enthusiasm.

    As it turned out later, the distance from the bus station to the place of residence was 8.9 km. So by 4 a.m. I had just arrived, which really “pleased” the hostess. Fortunately, in this case I was carrying a box of delicious sweets with me, which slightly dampened the impression of a late arrival. For the next surprise, I was mentally prepared (remember that we have a share - we save on everything), the apartment was completely unheated. Five blankets were supposed to compensate for the temperature at +2 ° C of heat, but of course the most rescued were woolen socks - a gift from grandma.

    Fira gran Via

    Arriving at Fira Gran Via, after a short two-hour sleep, I quickly received my badge (using a printout with a QR code), and later on I completely switched to the actively promoted NFC badge. After a single validation of the photo at the point of issue, I passed all the checks at the entrance simply by applying the device with the NFC Badge application running to the reader.

    I’ll try to tell very briefly about my impressions of visiting the stands - for a full detailed story about the most interesting of them you will need a separate topic, which, I hope, I will write in the very near future.

    Fortunately, my appearance as a “fighter” passing through the front line did not stop me from visiting most of the planned stands. To get started, I looked at Media Village, where most of the news from the MWCs of all world publications came from. Oh miracle - free coffee :)


    In the meantime, I managed to find out the password for free Wi-Fi, and looked at Twitter. Oh horror - it turns out already ten minutes before the press conference at Nokia began. I managed to run to the desired hall only by the time Steven Elop began to answer tricky questions “When to wait for Windows Phone with 41MP Pure View?” - alas, there was no concrete answer to this question.

    Immediately after the end of the presentation, a demonstration of new Lumia models began - more knowledgeable journalists went to a specially fenced section for the press, but numerous "reviewers" including from Russia, stubbornly tried to shoot video reviews among the crowd. They were interrupted about every minute, I still won’t get to see how the final video was glued. I especially remember the moment when the helpful workers of the stand literally every 5 seconds walked around the camera operator (only television workers shot the cameras) and interrupted the “report” with the questions “May I help you?”

    By the way, Coca-Cola transferred some of its employees to Windows Phone (and more specifically on Nokia's Lumia), because everywhere they distributed cold Coca-Cola.

    About Visitors and Golla

    It should be noted that there were a lot of visitors speaking Russian; Surprisingly, everyone believed that everyone around spoke English, and therefore situations where near the stands you could hear a dialogue in the style of "- And what kind of figovin? - Ah, that is Chinese mutoten!" happened more often than we would like. I admit that, for example, the Chinese behaved in exactly the same way, but I doubt it a little. The Japanese held onto Hall 8.1 with the "Japanese town", where I, by the way, looked into the tenth press release about the opening of "the most amazing of miracles, a social city that will open in Tokyo in April."

    Having hardly discovered the stand + foop (the company launching this project), I found out that we are talking about placing a dozen or two NFC tags in tourist and not only places of the city, with reference to social networks and building a graph of connections between the project participants. Press releases looked much more promising, though. The stand of Golla, the manufacturer of bags and accessories, I mentioned to recall the fact that for half the first day of the exhibition, about eight bags were stolen from their sufficiently large stand. The girls at the booth sadly joked that this shows how popular Golla products are.

    About mail

    By the way, just two words about the mail, after my accreditation to Press Pass was approved, I received at least three hundred press releases, about a hundred invitations to visit stands and countless mass mailings starting with Dear Sir. And this is not to mention the regular distribution of GSMA itself. Gmail shortcuts helped a little to organize this avalanche, maybe in the future I’ll think about a separate mail for such events.


    Although I missed the presentation directly at the hotel near Fira, the ASUS stand was remembered by the original design - unlike the open stands of other companies, the ASUS stand was closed, it was possible to enter it only through a separate entrance, and the number of visitors was regulated to avoid an influx people. ASUS PadFone ™ Infinity, Fonepad - I think I’ll talk about the ASUS stand in a separate habtopop, especially since I noticed a number of interesting features in these and other ASUS devices.

    Yota devices

    The Chinese delegations walked in organized groups, and the only ones who had distinguished themselves as “espionage sickness” in relation to the Chinese were Yota Devices. Their stand was protected from all sides, they were let inside the groups, they were reluctant to give the device to their hands, to take pictures - there was no light or place. For reliability, mock devices were placed inside the luminous stands. Fortunately, information was very readily shared with the Russian-language press. Another pleasant observation - at the Yota booth there was a real stir and queues, a subjective impression - YotaPhone managed to arouse interest among the world press. Well, or to learn the secret art of organizing queues from scratch.


    A lot of attention at the Motorola booth was devoted to the Razr I model - based on the Intel Atom processor. Perhaps the most surprising thing in the demonstration was the really fast camera operation (including instant face recognition and so on). Alas, letting the booth worker count her badge (this, by the way, was normal practice, they read the badge using NFC), I condemned myself to a hail of calls from the USA, and a stream of letters asking me if I would like to develop something for Motorola. In addition, having looked closely, I found out that despite the speed, the quality of the Razr I's pictures leaves much to be desired. In addition to 3D images on the floor, Motorola's stand was not memorable anymore. Another prototype of the device from Intel at their stand (also on Android) took photos already an order of magnitude better and even faster.


    LG press service. Ukraine contacted me before the trip and promised to send all the information about the meeting later. Alas, this never happened. When I arrived at the LG booth, there were representatives of many countries, from Brazil to the USA, in the leaflet with the order of meetings, but no Ukraine was found there. Not too upset, went to inspect the stand as an ordinary visitor. LG delighted visitors with at least huge touch tables where Optimus G Pro joyfully laid and huge circles glowed around it. I could not help but seize the moment and put Siemens M55 on the touch table. A luminous circle did not appear, and the Koreans laughed out loud for about three minutes, such a rarity next to the tablet phones seemed like a children's toy: ) Another fun - all the presented devices were designed for the Korean market - and therefore are equipped with the longest antennas (if I'm not mistaken, for DVB-H television). The flagship’s antenna height reached half a meter and, sadly, it nearly broke under its own weight when I pulled it out full length. Even at the stand, it was possible to print a photo from an LG phone on a portable LG photo printer. The quality was very mediocre, but the souvenir is wonderful. About the battery life of a girl wearing a printer on the stand, they could only say that they change the battery very often, like a cartridge with photo paper. Even at the stand, it was possible to print a photo from an LG phone on a portable LG photo printer. The quality was very mediocre, but the souvenir is wonderful. About the battery life of a girl wearing a printer on the stand, they could only say that they change the battery very often, like a cartridge with photo paper. Even at the stand, it was possible to print a photo from an LG phone on a portable LG photo printer. The quality was very mediocre, but the souvenir is wonderful. About the battery life of a girl wearing a printer on the stand, they could only say that they change the battery very often, like a cartridge with photo paper.


    Samsung booth was divided into three large-large zones. It’s a pity, I couldn’t take a picture of a “service plan” drawn with a ballpoint pen on which local workers indicated “what is located where is lying around ”. There were a lot of products, even more test samples, and almost each had its own consultant. This slightly affected the quality of service, for example, when I got to the stand with the “updated” (devoid of 3G \ 4G) Galaxy Camera, it turned out that I know more about her than the consultant girl. However, this is nit-picking, Samsung at the stand offered to win mini-souvenirs (having visited all three multi-colored zones of its stands), held mini-presentations right on the makeshift stage. I found the protected Galaxy XCover 2 only on the third attempt, and Galaxy Note 8.0 owned all the attention of visitors.


    I think that the HTC booth this year can be safely renamed the HTC One booth. At the booth, HTC One, HTC One, HTC One and another HTC One were on display. There were no other HTC products at all. I'm afraid I will give a reason for slander to those who expect updates for previous HTC products, but the impression is that except HTC One, the company does nothing more. To demonstrate the photo opportunities at the stand, decisively complex “lighting” conditions were created, iridescent light with twilight. Acrobats performed - again, for photographing them with the HTC Zoe function. To demonstrate the stereo speakers of HTC Boom, a soundproof room was built (a personal impression - the sound is not outstanding and not extra loud, left the stand puzzled). A gallery was also presented with examples of the production of the HTC One case from a single piece of aluminum.

    Huawei, ZTE, Alcatel

    You might be surprised that three such different companies got into the title. The fact is that despite external differences, the stands of these companies were similar - smartphones were demonstrated on them. And that’s it. Separate tables, places for photographing, decoration ... Of course, each of the companies tried to attract visitors with something, but the overall impression remained just that. The only thing that I remembered was that at the ZTE stand there was a separate ZTE Open sample with the installed Firefox OS. The device looked discharged, and when you tried to turn it on, it vibrated. A booth worker reported that there was no battery in the device, and directed me to the Mozilla booth. How the device could vibrate without a battery remained a mystery without an answer.

    At the Alcatel stand, they made a miscalculation with security, all the devices were on the alarm, and (the same) devices showing different colors of the case were simply inserted into the grooves next to the demonstration sample. The guard was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, regularly taking away from visitors and inserting the devices back into the grooves.


    Sony made its stand interesting. Sony has a representative on Habrahabr, and in preliminary correspondence before the exhibition, he informed me that a separate review of the stand was not needed, and he would tell about the premieres himself. Well, let it be so. I’ll only tell you personal impressions - I liked the company’s stand, a demonstration of the device’s water resistance (improvised swings lowering the Sony Z and Sony Tablet Z into the water at the touch of a button) and a demo stand where under the microscope that displays the image on a large screen, you could compare the FullHD pixel structure screen of Sony Z and other devices (it was suggested to put your smartphone for comparison). Perhaps this is exactly the place where they showed and explained with an example what the difference between mobile screens 1920x1080 and 1280x720 really consists of (compared Sony Z and Sony T). Separately, I note that Sony is one of the partners of the initiative with GSMA NFC Experience, which, apparently, was a success and in which I participated. Taking this opportunity - thanks to Sony :)

    Intel and Qualcomm

    Intel had about twelve separate demonstration booths at the booth, and Qualcomm also organized their booth in this way. I admit, it was not possible to master them all (although the most persistent - having listened to at least 5 demonstrations, Intel offered to take part in the prize draw from Motorola). I remember - a demonstration of technology that speeds up the Android emulator many, many times. If I am not mistaken about it already wrote on Habré. Qualcomm's interesting demonstrations concerned their groundwork in LTE data communications.

    i'm watch

    There will be a paragraph of a very, very, very subjective opinion - I did not like the stand of this company at all. They sent press releases, gave the press discounts of € 50, gave a lot of very beautiful printing, but they are just thick watches with a grainy screen, a single side back button, stylized not even for iOS, but for iPod Touch. Yes, they have a variety of colors, an operating system with applications (each of which should start with i'm% program name%), but their potential seems to me to be overestimated. Why are they fundamentally better, for example, I did not catch the Chinese "watch phones" on the same stripped-down Android. The same ugly fonts, clipped inscriptions - in a word, I was disappointed.


    In addition to smartphones at the Fujitsu booth, I found two interesting news: a virtual keyboard, which requires a front camera (for example, a tablet) with a resolution of 2 megapixels and a futuristic augmented reality helmet, using a translucent mirror to direct the laser into the eye, which captures reflected from the retina a laser beam and thus projecting an image on top of what the eye sees. Be sure to talk about this in a separate habratopika.

    Jolla, Opera, Mozilla

    I continue to unite so different companies under one heading, and all because both Jolla and Opera showed on their stands demos of their new (latest) products - this is Opera 7.5 for Android and running on the N950 Sailfish OS. If other authors do not get ahead of me, reviews of these products will be released soon. About the stands, I can only say that the representatives of both Opera and Jolla were extremely kind and pleasant, communicating with them is a pleasure.

    The guys from Mozilla gave a separate interview about their Firefox OS, which will also be released soon.


    Ubuntu for Android was shown on Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. Alas, it was the same build that was available at that time and Canonical representatives did not report anything new. Moreover, they claimed that new builds should be expected only once every six months, and we already know that it turned out a little differently. Questioning about the prospects of porting Ubuntu to other devices has come down to the fact that this is the task of enthusiasts, but not of Ubuntu developers, and in general this is not the final goal. The emphasis on the stand was on the dissemination of existing information.


    To begin with, it turned out that my appointment was not at all with NVidia, but with Vivid Games, which were supposed to demonstrate their new Real Boxing ™ on Project Shield on Tegra 4 from NVidia. It was then that it turned out that for “unnamed reasons” there would be no demonstration, Project Shield is not shown in action, look at it behind the glass, and the maximum we can count on is to look at the game on demo tablets on Tegra 4. Well, take what we have, launch Real Boxing, pick up the USB-connected gamepad and ... the tablet on the Tegra 4 hangs tightly. Representatives of NVidia with impenetrable faces are asked to go over the next tablet, meanwhile, with a polished movement, removing the battery from a frozen tablet. The game itself seemed quite pleasant to me, the representative of Vivid was glad to hear a flattering response - it turns out

    A lot of other stands

    I think somewhere here it’s worth stopping talking about each stand separately. I want to thank everyone who has read this far - I’m sure most of all are “yawned” now by those who also visited this MWC and made completely different impressions about the exhibition. Nevertheless, a visit to the stands of "small" companies brought a lot of surprises, which I hope will talk about shortly. There were also curiosities during visits - for example, remember about “ultra-hydrophobic” coatings? I spotted such a stand and even tried to “wet” a nano-coated napkin, and yes - it remained dry. Alas, all the booth workers spoke only Spanish, and therefore, in addition to receiving a “promotional bag” for products covered with this same coating, I could not learn anything new.


    I managed to attend several parties after the exhibition in the evening. What can you write about parties? The Nokia App Party was great. And delicious. And funny. And great :) Unfortunately, I did not visit the WIPJam party - therefore I can not say anything about it. But the last MLove Party left a depressing impression. It was held in the famous Barcelona club Ocana - sponsors were SPB-TV and Mercedes Benz, but they only managed to remove for the party a space comparable to a staircase near the elevator, a kind of square around the closed lower floor and the closed upper floor. Crampedness, a strict check at the entrance, a queue and as much as one free drink (in exchange for an admission ticket) - no, we don’t need such parties. Surprisingly, you need to take the example of Nokia! :)

    Once again, I thank everyone who read my story about MWC, after reading it, I realized that I hadn’t told a lot yet, but somewhere I need to put an end to it. Thanks for attention!

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