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Chambers redefines ‘mobility’ at Mobile World Congress

It’s not easy to wow a mobile phone industry audience just after they have heard from the bosses of Vodafone, Nokia and China Mobile. Yet that was the task facing Cisco chief executive John Chambers at this year’s Mobile World Congress opening keynote speech in Barcelona, Spain. Where previous speakers had pointed to the unstoppable progress of the industry so far-with 3 billion subscribers worldwide, mobile is officially the fastest-growing technology innovation in human history-Chambers provided a startling vision of the future.Chambers foresaw a new phase of Internet productivity driven not by business but by consumers; the provision of everything (not just software) as a service; and emerging countries taking the lead in global innovation.To prove the point, he demonstrated a Unified Communications video session moving seamlessly from a desk phone to a mobile, a handheld computer and finally a home TelePresence screen-clearly not a traditional mobile device, but one that enters the Cisco mobility umbrella nevertheless. The video link was an apt example of future mobile use, as Chambers predicted moving images would prove a major factor in helping to boost mobile industry growth at rates of up to 500 percent a year in the near future, creating new ways of collaborating and innovating in the process. In Cisco’s view, said Chambers, ‘mobility’ is no longer about particular devices, technologies or services. It is about using any device to access any content over any network, with IP as the basis for all communication. Chambers didn’t expect everyone to go along with his vision of the future.”If you agree with everything I say today, I’ll have failed miserably,” he quipped at the start of his talk. But a review of technology’s achievements against a set of predictions that Cisco made in 1997 indicated that, if anything, even the most outlandish expectations of today could come to pass, and possibly much sooner than we expect. Post by Matt Morgan, Cisco PR

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