Mobile Internet World - Day 2

Today is the first "official" day of the inaugural Mobile Internet World conference. There was standing room only for today's sessions. The highlights of the sessions I attended are included below:

Conference Opening Address: Anywhere: The Killer App for the Mobile Internet (Emily Nagle Green, President & CEO, Yankee Group)

  • The vision of Yankee Group is that computers and their netorks are moving us towards ubiquitous connectivity, when all people and all things are connected, Anywhere.
  • Mobility implies lliberation - no longer being chained to one place, one device, one network. We can have our work and play with us.
  • Today's mobile Internet is not all that good yet. The economic contribution of mobile Internet is small.
  • What happened when motors became small and less expensive? They transformed from standalone devices to components of special-purpose devices (e.g. motors in washing machines, can openers and blenders.
  • Connectivity is the 21st century anolog of electric motors being embedded in appliances. Connectivity is more than than connecting screens. What if cars, motorcyles, garage door openers, air conditioners or home security systems were connected? Connectivity is about adding value to consumer life style. We must ask challenging questions: what devices can be made more valuable by adding connectivity?
  • What obstacles, if conquered, would lead to market growth?
    • Insufficient and uncertain radio spectrum
    • Too expense equipment and tariffs
    • Device subsidies; carrier controls
    • Unsatisfactory network performance
    • Inefficient application devleopment environment
    • Limits and fears about location information usage
  • Conclusion: The mobile internet is the next massive value creation opportunity in technology.

Mobile Internet Utopia (Greg Clayman, Executive Vice President of Digital Distribution and Business Development, MTV Networks)

  • Key areas of focus for MTV networks in the mobile Internet market include:
    • Openness of technology and platforms
    • Innovation, including learning from the web experience and understanding the new economics of mobile
    • Focusing on what consumers want.
  • Targeted advertising has huge potential; long way to go.
  • Social networking has redefined the online culture. We need to take provide connection to social networks on mobile phones.
  • The online culture is a "recommnedation culture." We need to focus on audience engagement.

Mobilizing the Internet: One Carrier's Unique Perspective (Jack Dziak, Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy, Sprint Nextel)

  • Megatrends driving growth in the mobile market include
    • wireless - wireless minutes growing 30%/year, as wireline minutes decline
    • internet growth - internet is mainstay of daily growth
  • Of the $59 ARPU for Sprint subscribers last month, $10 was in data services.
  • Mobile telephony has centered around voice services, but is now evolving toward data. Broadband services are evolving from fixed broadband to mobile Internet.
  • Network performance must be defined by both speed and capacity in an environment of scarce spectrum.
  • Sprint's two major initiatives in mobile Internet include WiMAX and Open Handset Alliance (OHA).
  • Wimax represents new flexible platform with a 10x cost/performance improvement.
  • Sprint likes OHA because it will
    • Facilitate customer access to mobile internet
    • Provide open tools for creative, innovative and compelling applications
    • Drive mobile data usage (this is their real focus)
    • Enable customer choice
  • Growth of the mobile Internet will require:
    • More network capacity at lower cost
    • Innovation in distribution to many types of devices
    • Innovation in multimedia solutions (interactive and personalized)
    • Affordability and flexibility of payment
    • Improvements to backhaul network
    • Devices with lower power consumption and higher battery life.
  • To add value on top of OHA, carriers must add value by combining location, presence and status to services.

Escaping the Walled Garden: Growing the Mobile Web with Open Standards (Tim Berners-Lee, Director, World Wide Web Consortium)

  • The most important things about the world wide web:
    • It is universal
    • It runs on any hardware and any software
    • It works in any language
    • It is accessible to the disabled
    • It works with information from scribbles to finished books
    • It is a great sandbox to foster innovation
  • The web was successful because it allowed creative re-use. Content created once could be used many times in unanticipated ways.
  • The long tail on the WWW is huge, even though major channels are important.
  • Open standards are essential. If enough people bet on a standard, markets take off - often in different ways than imagined. Companies that choose proprietary methods will lose out on market growth when standards ultimately win.
  • The W3C - Mobile Web Initiative is developing guidelines on how to use standards for mobile web.

Keynote: Making Wireless Global, Affordable and Personal (Greg Delagi, Texas Instruments, Senior Vice President, General Manager of TI's Wireless Terminals Business)

  • The global mobile phone market is huge: 3 billion active subscribers; will grow to 4 billion by 2010. One billion mobile phones sold per year.
  • Mobile phone sales growth factors include:
    • Replacement devices, which provide compelling new features
    • New subscribers, particularly driven by affordability for high growth economies (e.g. India, China, Eastern Europe and South America)
  • Smartphones are the fastest growing segment in mobile industry.
  • The mobile phone and consumer electronics experience will increasingly interact because of functional convergence on a single device.
  • Mobility will liberate and extend the web 2.0 experience.
  • Increased data rates will enable higher performance applications.

Luncheon Keynote Presentation: Open Internet, Open Platform: Open Opportunities (Kiyo Oishi, SVP Global Marketing, ACCESS)

  • The Google OFA annoucement focused a lot of attention on the mobile Internet market.
  • One billion mobile broadband users by are expected by 2013.
  • Software complexity is driving hardware development faster than Moore's law can accommodate.
  • An open Internet and open platforms will lead to a converged world.
  • Mobile Linux is experiencing explosive growth.

Is An Open Platform the Future of the Mobile Internet? (Panel discussion led by John Jackson, Vice President, Yankee Group) Greg Delagi, Texas Instruments, Senior Vice President, General Manager of TI's Wireless Terminals Business Rich Miner, VP Wireless Strategy, Google
Didier Diaz, SVP Product Strategy Management, ACCESS
Stephanie Mehta, Senior Writer, FORTUNE Magazine
Bill Weinberg, Marketing Director, Linux Phone Standards Forum
Kevin Packingham, Vice President of Wireless Product Management and Usability, Sprint Nextel

  • OHA shows that the market is getting serious about bridging the gap between mobile and the Internet
  • Companies must look to provide value to their customer. Ultimately, consumers want choice.
  • Open source has never been developed in this industry. The industry has paid lip service to openness, but has typically done only a portion of what is necessary to open things up.
  • OHA includes a thin operating system layers, plus a set of other functions.
  • It is felt that the open platform will increase the speed of innovation and reduce fragmentation, but there is some concern that OHA is "fighting fragmentation with fragmentation."
  • Will carriers want to control what the user will experience when they turn on the phone? Will carriers be willing to relinquish valuable real estate to other players?
  • Carriers currently are responsible to take customer care calls. This is a built in economic disadvantage for carrier.

Global Trends Driving the Mobile Internet (Marc Patterson, Vice President and General Manager - Mobile Data Services, BT Global Services)

  • We operate in a market too complex for one company or organization to control. Collaboration is essential.
  • Key challenges for businesses include cost reduction, globalization and agility.
  • The key driver for mobility in enterprise applications is enabling business functionality, not in providing cheaper access.
  • The converged enterprise mobility ecosystem must address home, office and mobile devices - taking the office whereever you go.
  • The "prosumer" (professional consumer) is creating a revolution in enterprisers. The edge is blurred between business and home users.
  • HS/DPA (not WiMAX) is rolling out rapidly in Europe. Adoptions rates have been "staggering."
  • Rapid adoption of flat top tariffs instead of usage based tariffs is increasing demand for wireless broadband.
  • Mobile Unified Communications, a seamless integration of communications technologies, is the Holy Grail.

Building Business Models for the Mobile Internet (Panel discussion led by Rory Altman, Altman Vilandrie & Company)

Lubna Dajani, Mobile Monday
Douglas Edwards, Handmark
Tuomo Sihvola, Widsets
Carl Taylor, Hutchison Whampoa Europe
Jon S. von Tetzchner, Opera Software

  • When tariffs move to flat rate charges - uptake skyrockets.
  • Mobility use cases - not just web browsing on the phone - will enable growth .
  • There was a significant difference of opinion on whether mobile web browsers were sufficient or whether other applications were needed.
  • Mobile browsers have widespread adoption. The Opera Mini browser has 100K dowloads per day and enables 1billion page views per month.
  • Improving mobile browsers may not be a strong enough use case to make users come daily into a mobile experience. We need daily users - driven by something that attracts them into constant mobile Internet experience.
  • The user experience on the handset is fundamentally different than for a PC. It must be simplified and improved. It must be more relevant to the user.
  • Only 12% of handsets in US have data plans. Only 3-4% actually use them.
  • There is a disconnect between the number of people actually getting mobile Internet access and projected ad revenue.
  • For PC Internet access, ad revenue tracked penetration of broadband into the home. What will the trend to which will predict mobile advertising growth?
  • If carriers engage with brands and technology companies, they will share in revenue streams. If they choose walled gardens (walled prisons) they will lose.
  • The winners may depend on who is capable of delivering the customer.
  • Europe is increasingly embracing handset subsidies to add post-paid customers, while the US is trying to get away from subsidies.
  • Carriers will continue to have power until people change their attitudes of buying devices for voice and text. Consumers have not yet made the leap from "device as phone" to "device as convergent communicator."
  • Multiple industry entrants (e.g. Microsoft, Apple, Google) drive innovation. We should collaborate on basics and compete on value add.
  • Widgets are one model that leverage web standards but give a richer user experience on the device.
  • The secret for advertising is to make it relevant and not obnoxious. People regularly pay for printed media that is full of advertising - a form of information of interest to the purchaser. "Advertising as content" should speak to people about what they are interested in.

Demystifying the Next Generation of Mobile Internet Technologies (Caroline Gabriel, ReThink Research (chair)

  • Darren Koenig, Director, Wireless Communications, TeleAtlas
    • Connectivity and Context are key
    • consumers are finally aware - they want advanced features. For example, 84% of consumers want GPS on next phone.
    • Eventually, Locations Based Services (LBS) will be embedded in everything.
  • Bennett Marks, Open Mobile Alliance / Nokia
    • After 10 years in market making, 2007 marks the time to move to the next step
    • Critical factors for growth include growing the development community and deploying contextualization technologies in a much bigger scope than GPS (e.g. patterns of usage, physical environment, work vs. play role.)
  • Dan Stoops, Alcatel-Lucent
    • Consumer don't care about technology acronymns - they care about choice and services.
    • Services must be merged or linked across across traditional boundaries.
  • Faraz Syed, Mobile Complete
    • Do consumers really know about the existence of these cool products? How will they find out?
  • Rao Yallapragada, Qualcomm
    • 3G technologies are delivering mobile broadband today
    • UMB and LTE are positioned to dominate the future

Mobile Widgets. Web 2.0 and beyond... (Dan Shugrue, Senior Business Development Manager, S60 Platform, Nokia)

  • Here and now is the inflection point about how we access the Internet
    • More converged devices than laptops.
    • Consumers spending more time with IM, flickr, youtube, etc. than spending on mobile telephony
    • Apple and Google enter the mobile space.
    • Big market: 4 billion subscribers by 2010 - 90% of worlds population will be covered; 60% penetration to population.
    • Bigger installed base of converged devices than laptops today
  • Open standards are required for growth.
  • The Nokia S-60 platform is uses open standards and is openly licensed to multiple handset manufacturers.
  • Widgets are small, specialized applications that access web services and phone services to provide a richer user experience.
  • Widgets enable the long tail of innovation by allowing developers to easily leverage web technologies.

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Discovering Identity was founded on blogs.sun.com in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at DiscoveringIdentity.com. In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

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