Report from Mobile World Congress 2009, Barcelona

24 02 2009

“A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind”
– Chinese proverb

People like technology for its own sake. That fact was abundantly clear at Mobile World Congress (MWC 09), as it has been clear down through the years in telecom, computing and consumer electronics. The desire for something new drives these businesses forward, sometimes without real regard for customer benefit. When 3G mobile first launched in France, you could buy a 3G phone from the operators with the disclaimer that 3G service was not actually available yet.

Technologies like Wireless Access Protocol, which promised “wireless internet” and delivered 80’s dial-up modem experience, have shown us that technology for its’ own sake is fun, but will not drive new services revenue.

Let’s hear from Michele Campriani, CEO at Accanto Systems and Advisory Director at TM Forum, who cautions operators to be careful with 4G investment. His company is a provider of intelligent Customer Service Assurance solutions for communications services providers globally.

At MWC most of the promotions still focus on cool technology rather than how to help operators make money. Handset manufacturers come to the event with their consumer focused marketing which fails completely to show operators how to make new money

Quite a bit discussion focuses on Application stores. Apple came from nowhere in the handset to a number 2 position in the US in the space of less than two years. Are they revolutionizing mobile in the same way they took on the music, and new video and TV on demand market. A simple well integrated universal storefront and device? Apple’s app store claims half a billion downloads.

This success has caught the attention of Microsoft and Nokia, amongst others, as the App store launches are coming fast and thick. Microsoft must by wondering what hit them. Why wasn’t there a similar site for Windows Mobile? I’m using, but lets face it, it is not sexy and the install process can be pretty fraught.

Clearly people want App stores (even if they don’t make much use of the apps that they download) are great, but if Apple, Microsoft, Palm, Nokia, and Google have one how will operators make money from that?

Meanwhile in handset land, activity seemed to be focused on “iPhone clone” wars. Each major manufacturer has there touch screen icon-encrusted offering. Why is no-one talking (at least in their public promotions) about how to make new revenues from these? Nuvifone offers GPS navigation on a mobile phone (like we didn’t have that before!) – this will actually take money from operators who have their own subscription-based navigation services. Yahoo had a significant stand where they showed their iPhone like interface. Oddly despite all the Google Android hype, Google did not have a stand at the show.

Part of the answer may be that you need to look a bit more closely at the offers from the suppliers. Alcatel Lucent had some intriguing technology on their site that could trigger some new service offers, and is reminiscent of the Shazam music recognition technology

Keith Barnett, Digital Media Product and Solution Marketing Manager, HP shares his MWC discoveries and highlights some of the new innovative services for 4G from device, application and content providers.

More details about the Alcatel-Lucent ng Connect Program can be found on the link above.

With all the talk at the show of “Next G” capabilities offered by Long Term Evolution (LTE) (less so Wimax it now seems), let’s hope operators can figure out ways to monetize the services that take advantage of these impressive new mobile speeds. I certainly didn’t see much to give much indication which shape these will take. Some said 3G meant Girls, Games and Gambling and there is some evidence of that from MobileKing seen at MWC ’09.

R18 livecams and video-content - helping to drive much needed revenue

R18 livecams and video-content - helping to drive much needed revenue




One response

4 07 2009
Ram Chaturvedi

Welcome to the professional tech reviews site.The motive

of this site ( is to provide you

with the latest happenings prevailing all around the

world in the world of technology.I myself have been in

this field for more than 15 years and want to make

people feel the POWER of technology.

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