Flashy new cell phones, faster networks and more entertainment geared for the small screen are taking center stage this week as the wireless industry gathers for the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The four-day event, starting today, is expected to draw over 50,000 professionals from companies such as Motorola, Samsung and the world's largest cell phone maker, Nokia.

Redmond giant, Microsoft Corp, is scheduled to present its new operating system for cell phones and PDA's, Windows Mobile 6.

Codenamed Crossbow, the new operating system is expected to adopt design cues from its PC big-brother, Windows Vista, which Microsoft released for consumers at the end of January. The new Windows mobile platform has reportedly fixed a number of problems and expected to offer better connectivity to computer.

Other companies are expected to unveil new phones and mobile technology set to hit the wireless industry this year.

On Friday, in Seoul, Samsung Electronics Co. showed off its Ultra Smart F700, a potential Apple iPhone rival which is expected to garner plenty of attention in Barcelona. The unit sports a touch-enabled screen across the whole of its front, with multimedia and internet capabilities.

Perhaps the most buzz this year will be talk of bringing more content to mobile platforms over high-speed networks.

The Cartoon Network, is expected to announced partnerships with operators, with an initiative to bring Bollywood films to the super-small screen.

The conferences are also a chance for the some of the industry's backbone providers to interface with customers.

Siemens, Ericsson, Alcatel/Lucent, Nortel, Qualcomm, and many are expected to showcase new network technologies, enabling high-speed data transfers and protocols, empowering phones with more potential than ever.