I spent the last week at Mobile World Congress.
The 2013 Mobile World Congress ends with more than 72,000 visitors, an 8% increase on last year More than 1,700 participating companies in 94,000 square metres of exhibition space. In my view, the transition from the older venue to the new venue was well managed and GSMA and the city of Barcelona deserves kudos for it
I was speaking / chairing twice - Speaking at Mobile World Congress – IBM / Worklight – Mobile enterprise event and At Mobile World congress – chairing – Where the Money Meets the Talent – Mobile Monday – GrowVC – . I was also a part of the @webinosproject
Here is an analysis of what I found interesting – both at the event itself – but also announcements coming from the event.
I track mobility from three perspectives:
- An analyst
- An entrepreneur (for my start-up feynabs) and
- Tech policy discussions.
To see the background for my thinking, please see 2013 trends and How to analyse the industry in a mobile first world? Hence, the view emphasises areas I am tracking (for instance Smart cities).
Comments welcome at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com
Why is mobility significant?
On a personal note, I felt out of place carrying a laptop when @GabbyStern1 and her Wall Street Journal crew record the event on mobile alone!
We are truly in a Mobile First world
- No longer do we ask ‘Is this the year of mobile’ – instead global companies like IBM are adopting the Mobile first paradigm
- @WSTechUK says – It took 22 years for first 2 billion people to connect to the web – it’ll only take 5 years for next 2
- GSMA Outlines State of Mobile Industry in New Report – with significant socio-economic contribution. The mobile industry is a major contributor to the global economy. The total mobile ecosystem revenues were US$1.6 trillion, or 2.2 per cent of global GDP. For the period through 2017, the mobile industry will invest US$1.1 trillion in capital expenditure and will contribute US$2.6 trillion to public funding. Importantly, in 2017, companies across the ecosystem will employ nearly 10 million people globally. “The mobile industry’s economic impact reaches far beyond its already-impressive $1.6 trillion in revenues, to boost individual well-being, corporate productivity and government funding,” said Mark Page, leader of A.T. Kearney’s Communications, Media and Technology practice and co-author of the report. “ To access the full report, “The Mobile Economy 2013”, visit www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/.
- GSMA Global Mobile Money Adoption Survey Identifies 30 Million Active Mobile Money Customers Globally in 2012 - The research shows the number of active mobile money users grew impressively; more than 30 million people undertook 224.2 million transactions totalling $4.6 billion during the month of June 2012 alone. “The social impact of mobile money is already well documented, and our report last year offered the first global benchmarks on how many customers were using mobile money,” Rapid Growth, Particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Money Contributing to Financial Inclusion
A full copy of the report can be found at: http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/state-of-the-industry-2012.
- Global operator data revenues to surpass voice by 2018 GSMA claims mobile operator data revenues will overtake voice revenues globally by 2018, driven by a surge in demand for connected devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
- Connecting with the next billion consumers was a key theme at MWC13
Mobile first – Three eras of app development – The merging of the web and mobile ecosystems – why have we reached the tipping point now?
I have been tracking the mobile and the Web industries holistically for more than ten years now .. and the key observation has been Mobility will become like the Web – but will complement the Internet and the Web in its unique way.
Apps are the mechanism that unite the two paradigms – the Web and Mobile.
Historically, apps were synonymous with íphone apps and indeed that’ s how the whole app industry started. But today, the conversation has evolved. On one hand, when we speak of apps, we still talk of the cool UI (esp with native apps). But that’ s only a part of the story now. Developers, consumers and CIOs take good UI for granted but they expect more.
I see three stages of maturity (eras) of app development
1) Stage one – Building an app is only the first step 2007 – 2010 era
2) Stage two – Hybrid apps and managing across multiple platforms – 2010 to now ..
3) Stage three – Mobile first – Apps (web, mobile, hybrid) used to extend and transform the business process – 2012 onwards
Stage three is critical for competitiveness and it unites the Web and Mobile paradigms
For example – 5 years ago, the question was – how many devices do you support?
Now the question is
a) How many platforms (iphone blackberry android etc)
b) Then also the security, management, device integration and reach
c) Process change driven by mobility
d) Transformation of consumer behaviour, engagement and consumption(commerce) through mobile – i.e. Mobile first
Business Process change is not just for large enterprises. I use a taxi company which manages the entire user experience in great detail through an app. Stage three (how companies and SMEs manage the business process change through mobile devices) will indeed decide the winners and the losers over the next few years. So, we are in a stage of fundamental transformation which affects all businesses.
Hence, you should read the below from the above disruptive perspective
- MWC is always a device fest .. but this year, four new platforms were launched Four new mobile OS platforms at Mobile World Congress (firefox OS, Ubuntu touch, Tizen and Sailfish) – along with Jolla which was launched recently
- Samsung unveils latest Galaxy Note – the phone which created a new class of devices (Phablets) and phones have grown enormous - The Enormous Smartphones of Mobile World Congress [PICS]
- Huawei launches 4G phone – Ascend P2 claiming it to be the world’s fastest smartphone
- LG brings together entire four-tier smartphone lineup at MWC
- Practical, affordable phones take center stage at MWC 2013 with phones like the £13 Nokia Lumia for the emerging markets
- Not at MWC, but also interesting - Why Google built the pricey, powerful Chromebook Pixel - Apparently to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks for users who have fully embraced the Cloud
- Nokia focuses on mass market with device update - Nokia unveiled four new devices which Stephen Elop, its CEO, said are designed to “inspire more people, at more prices, and ultimately capture more volume as well as value in the marketplace”.
- Sony promises “breakthrough” year for mobile business – Struggling Sony Mobile promises that 2013 will be a “breakthrough” year for it.
- HP offloads webOS to LG – In a surprising move, HP said that it will sell its webOS operating system (OS) to LG Electronics. LG plans to integrate the OS into its smart TVs, but not tablets or handsets.
What can Operators learn from Telefonica?
Telefonica was part of the two most disruptive announcements I have seen. Both are now posted as separate blogs and are a must read IMHO
What can other Operators learn?
1) The OTT/Telco debate is in the last decade. It’s time to move on with creative partnerships and acquisitions
2) Learning from the music industry, newspaper industry and the likes of Kodak – companies which don’t move fast will lose out
3) Developers are the key stepping stone to the customer because they enable the Long tail (and hence transform your network into a platform)
- Distimo: new apps struggling to gain traction - Just two per cent of the top 250 publishers in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the US are new to the market, with three per cent for Google Play in the same country, according to the latest report …
- Nokia talks up apps efforts - Nokia said that it is “opening up its APIs in imaging, location and music to encourage developers to build unique and innovative experiences for Lumia”.
- Apps not putting the brakes on browser use – CNN - The mobile browser remains an “incredibly important” tool for content providers to target users, despite the growing importance of apps for smartphone and tablet users, according to Peter Bale, VP and general manager of CNN International Digital.
- BlackBerry to review rejected ‘Built for BlackBerry’ apps, introduce appeals process after complaints – Demonstrating the value of developers, BlackBerry has initiated a review of apps that were mistakenly rejected from its ‘Built for BlackBerry’ certification program after its head of developer relations responded to complaints and looked into the issue personally.
NFC and mobile payments
It was the year of NFC and there were many announcements related to NFC and the usage of NFC in the show itself. I will post more on NFC in a separate blog
Automotive also featured big time at MWC13
- Ford drives Ford SYNC into Europe with Spotify partnership - A global partnership with Spotify, announced today at Mobile World Congress, heralds a major push into Europe.
- General Motors plans LTE launch in 2014 - General Motors will introduce LTE connectivity to cars as soon as next year, according to Steve Grisky, GM’s vice chairman, speaking in a keynote session today.
- Huawei launches first vehicle telematics range - Chinese giant Huawei has launched its first range of telematics solutions targeting the so-called connected car market.
- Ford And GM Forge Different Wireless Paths - While GM announced it was partnering with AT&T to bring wireless connectivity to its cars next year, Ford partnered with an Internet player, music streaming service Spotify, using iPhones as the wireless hubs for its cars. See also Spotify strikes Ford deal to fuel its in-car music ambitions
- French carmaker Renault demonstrated the R-Link app store where its customers can buy apps for the road (think maps, weather updates, and streaming music) for its new in-dash tablet display for select car models to launch later this year. Source Bloomberg
- For me , policy was an important area and Privacy + web developers featured on the agenda with a five year old running up at 1700 pound bill on iPad in ten minutes.
- Companies are trying to be privacy friendly
- Apps are also on the FTCs radar
- The GSMA wants more regulation for privacy but less for spectrum J GSMA chairman: Spectrum, privacy must be high on agenda
- And so do the mobile CEOs - CEOs repeat call for lighter regulation
- Meanwhile - Brussels threatens to take governments to court to create single mobile market
- The Unesco publishes a new report on Internet freedom – “@UNESCO: Our standard-setting report on Internet freedom: “Freedom of Connection, Freedom of Expression” - large pdf version HERE
- Neelie Kroes gives an inspiring keynote covering many issues including spectrum Smashing barriers and thinking big
A chat with @disruptivedean has got me interested in webrtc. Agree with dean that webrtc disruptive
- WebRTC – Ringing A Mobile Phone Near You - http://bit.ly/ZrTxMP “WebRTC goes beyond VoIP and video conferencing, with no plugins” #mozilla
- Mozilla, AT&T And Ericsson Team Up To Demo Seamless Web-To-Mobile WebRTC Integration At MWC
I spent a lot of time with the connected city demos.
Extending the idea of a ‘connected house’ a connected city is a GSMA initiative featuring a town hall, department store, and apartment to an electrical store, hotel, cafe and lounge, and a car showroom etc
- AT&T, IBM and Other Brands Move Into Connected City at Mobile World Congress
- IBM plugs big data capabilities into Deutsche Telekom’s M2M infrastructure for smarter cities
On the radar
- Qualcomm: ‘Augmented reality as a technology is starting to mature’
- Vodafone urged to give free text app Viber full access to network
- Shazam: ‘TV advertising is going to become our primary revenue stream’ - With tens of millions of weekly active users, Shazam wants to make second-screen ads a big deal for broadcasters.
- Deutsche Telekom partners with IBM for Smarter Cities
- Qualcomm: We will solve 4G roaming problem this year phones bought in one country usually aren’t compatible with the 4G frequencies used in the country you’re travelling to.
- LG acquires webOS from HP, plans to use it in smart TV platform (updated) HD - This was an unpredictable announcement. The acquisition is expected to bring Internet services directly to consumer electronics devices
- Intel talks new chips, partners at Mobile World Congress
- Mobile games sales overtook handheld titles in Q4
- ZTE and Nvidia set for “super phone” debut
- Telefónica talks up Wi-Fi in an LTE world - Telefónica is demonstrating technology that enables smartphone and tablet users to move between a Wi-Fi and cellular network without losing coverage,
- Dropbox bemoans cloud complexity
- Small Cell Forum cranks up rollout efforts - Most operators see small cells as important, but only a few are rolling them out.
- EE boss: OTT partnerships more important in 4G world - “We’re having to become more like the IT industry …
- NTT Docomo preps business model revamp - NTT Docomo is planning to shift its business model away from being platform-focused, towards a company providing mobile services
- Docomo, Orange and Samsung promise 2013 Tizen launches
- Viber CEO: Innovation more important than interop
- The Exploring Big Data project at Mobile World Congress 2013
- MobileIron wins Best Enterprise Mobile Service at Mobile World Congress.
If you are in Berlin next week, Meet me at the 3rd FOKUS Media Web Symposium where I am also speaking
Comments welcome at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com @ajitjaokar
Image source: Mobile World Congress