Some Reflections on My Experience at Mobile World Congress
It seems like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona continues to grow year over year, suggesting the appetite for mobile services and devices will continue to explode over the coming years. The range of exhibitors is overwhelming covering a range of technology products and services. In addition to the usual suspects of handset manufacturers, mobile app vendors, and mobile network platform vendors, I noticed a strong undercurrent of enterprise/business-class service offerings, as if mobile services are starting to break away from the consumer-centric roots of the industry and driving towards the business of delivering services that enterprises would care about. Mobile device management vendors were certainly at the forefront of this trend with the range of device management options growing exponentially it would seem.
However, what did strike me was that in the rush to develop these new business class technologies and solutions, it seemed to me that the industry had collectively forgotten to come up with a plan on how all the constituent parts might fit together in a scheme that a service provider mobile operator could follow to drive towards monetization of these services. Monetization was certainly a big buzz word that cropped up in many of the conversations I overheard, but when I asked vendors about how their solutions fitted into the wider picture and with other solutions, most of the vendors were at a complete loss to explain. For mobile operators, the wealth of technology and opportunity, based on what I saw at Mobile World Congress, is dizzying. Perhaps more concerning is how they can coherently harness the power of all this innovation into services that can effectively and efficiently be deployed and ultimately monetized. Out of this storm of innovation my feeling is that the industry will eventually rationalize down to a smaller number of strategic vendors who have the vision and the capability to deliver an architectural platform on which SP operators can deliver tiered services. From a medianet perspective the capabilities that we’ve delivered for enterprise – performance monitoring, troubleshooting, media awareness, etc.—are all relevant in this space, albeit on a much larger scale. Having spoken to some of the handset manufacturers and mobile operators, their reaction to medianet was very positive leaving me with the impression that going forward medianet capabilities may well play a significant role in that evolution towards an architecture for mobile enterprise services. If we can help SP operators extend medianet beyond the borders of the enterprise so that is spans towards a truly cross segment architecture, it will be a win for enterprises, service providers, and business users.