Firefox OS debuts at Mobile World Congress

As vendors gather in Barcelona for today’s opening of the annual Mobile World Congress, they will be met by a dizzying array of smart phones and tablets but devices are by not the only things to look out for in this year’s mobile bash.

For instance, wireless network service providers will definitely be eyeing the first commercial build of Mozilla’s Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem.

The first wave of Firefox OS devices is expected to ship out soon in Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Montenegro, Spain, Poland and Serbia and to date no less than 17 key operators around the world have committed to the open Web program.
The Huawei Ascend P2


The Firefox OS open Web standards enables development of phone features as an HTML5 application and allows carriers to tailor interfaces and localize services to match the needs of their customer base.

Of course Samsung Electronics will also be unveiling its own Web-based operating systems Tizen which it developed with Intel Corp.
The unabated mobile trend continues to feed greater opportunities for networking vendors such as Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks Inc. and F5 Networks as carriers continue pour money into networks to support the ever growing Internet usage and the need for speed through 4G LTE.

The big question for us in North America is whether wireless carriers in Canada and the United States jump onboard the new web-based OS bandwagon.

On the device front, Samsung is also showing off its Galaxy Note 8.0, the company’s addition to the “mid-sized tablet category” which includes the Note II “phablet”. The Note 8.0 also supports a stylus device and has a multi-window feature that allows users to access several apps at the same time. The Android-powered device has a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and integrated HSPA connectivity.

Huawei unveiled its Ascend P2, which it claims to be the world’s fastest smart phones. Powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and LTE Cat 4, the Ascend P2 is said to be capable of download speeds of up to 150 Mbps.

The device sports an infinity edge 4.7-inch IPs HD in-cell touch display and is only 8.4 mm thick. The phone runs on the Android 4.1 operating systems. Huawei has also equipped the device with a near field communication (NFC) module to enable e-payments.

Along with a dazzling collection of faster mobile chips and larger display screens, NFC technology and fingerprint technology will also be featured widely in many devices at the MWC.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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