Barcelona is famous for Picasso, the painter who led cubism as an art movement. In the 2st Century, 3G is more like it, as the world's leaders of mobile phone services and technology congregate in this picturesque Spanish city where medieval history meets high technology in a sign of the times.
On show this year at the 3GSM Congress that kicks off on Monday would be a long-awaited fantasy of many a handset-holder in India: Bollywood movie clips. From its western counterpart, Hollywood, we will have Robert Redford, the director and actor who will bless the event that would feature the premiere of five movies especially shot for mobile screens in collaboration with the United States's Sundance Festival authorities.
India's own bustling movie industry will also showcase five mobile-friendly clips. In true celebrity-endorsement tradition, Lara Dutta and John Abraham will be there to make a song and dance about Bollywood going mobile. Not for nothing that the local Spaniards celebrating the event wax in their rhythmic tongue: El Mundo En Un Telefono —The World in a telephone.
The 3GSM event kicks off at the beautiful location of 'Placa de Espanya', a place that has by murals inspired by Picasso's works. Barcelona has since 2005 taken the place of Cannes, the French Riviera town more famous for its film festival. Now in its 20th year, the Congress organised by the GSM Association for the promotion of the global system for mobile communications (GSM) technology will this year feature about 350 chief executives of major telecom operators from around the world, besides regulators, policy-makers and ministers.
"This would be the greatest concentration of industry leaders in Barcelona since the Olympic Games in 1992," said Jordi Portabella, the second deputy mayor of the town in the Catalonia region.
Those attending the Congress have been offered a software application that once downloaded on to mobile handsets provides basic phrases in Catalan, the local language, and on how to get around the city. The Delhi government might like to have a look at this latest technological innovation, considering that everyone attending the Commonwealth Games in 2012 could invariably be a mobile subscriber.
Email M Rajendran: firstname.lastname@example.org