So next week we have the global event that is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona my daughters asked what happens. Over the next hour I tried to explain that far from a holiday the week in Barcelona will be hard work with a number of meetings.
Starting from Sunday afternoon through to Wednesday night I will meet with 37 different Organisations who want to talk about Mobile Banking, Next Generation Networks and Voice services. I will not be sitting in one place entertaining visitors but rather I will be walking from one meeting to the next. The good news is that I will be well exercised.
Talking with others in the Mobile industry some are giving Barcelona a pass this year stating budget and time issues so hopefully it will be less crowded. The flow of press releases so far talk about Mobile Broadband, WiMAX deployment in Emerging Markets and Handset manufacturers offering Application Stores. Party invites are thin on the ground compared with previous years and journalists are talking about the lack of sponsorship so it might be that a touch of realism has set in.
With 4 Billion users of Mobile the industry is indeed larger than any predicted 10 years ago. However the development of Smartphones and Mobile Broadband seem to have lead many down a blind alley. If Networks are to invest in greater speed and bandwidth why should that network be Open? If Networks want to turn infrastructure into low cost access points why would Equipment manufacturers innovate? I am always interested in how others use Mobile when I travel and hope that a trip to Spain might act as a wake up call for those in Northern Europe who see Smart as the future. With Networks having to fight to keep customers the investment has to be made not in new gadgets but rather processes.
I will be posting next week but I hope that MWC09 will not be a disappointment I am hoping that we might see the start of an ecosystem that sees everyone trying to evolve mobile.