Mobile Internet World - Day 3

The first edition of the Mobile Internet World conference is now in the history books. It was certainly well-worth my time to participate. Attendance declined a bit today, but I enjoyed most of the sessions more than yesterday. The highlights of sessions I attended are included below. Tomorrow, I'll post a summary of overall themes.

Mobile Internet Now & Tomorrow - An Operator View (Alexandre Froment-Curtil, Head of Vodafone live! and Mobile Internet, Vodafone Group Marketing)

  • The Eurpoean mobile Internet market has 100 million active subscribers using data services and shows 80% YOY growth in mobile music revenues.
  • Key factors in DSL / Broadband growth were content availability, pricing simplicity and network speed. Mobile internet growth will probably depend on the same factors
  • Vodafone's marketing slogan is "Take the Internet Out - It's now on your mobile ... make the most of now."
  • Vodafone is very bullish on this market. They believe that mobility will transform the Internet. Mobile will become the dominant tool for Internet access.
  • 4 babies are born every second in the world; 32 phones are sold every second (8 phones per baby!)
  • The customer of tomorrow will:
    • Be highly connected
    • Use multiple interfaces / devices
    • Access at all times of the day
    • Maintain an online identity - live in the online world
  • Successful services will integrate four dimensions of customer's life (content, space, people, time)
  • Vodafone is confident about the role of operators
  • In conclusion:
    • The journey has begun - we have begun to experience success
    • There is one internet - different ways to experience it
    • Operators must build on customer trust and offer a converged and open service environment

The Evolution of Mobile Broadband (Ray Dolan, SVP Strategy and Market Development, Qualcomm Enterprise Services)

  • Convergence in the wireless world depends on
    • Network evolution
    • Mobile device evolution
    • Service escalation
  • New, powerful processors will put more power in the handset. The Snapdragon processor is 1ghz, dual core, low power consumption.
  • The iPod blurs the boundary between PC and phone.
  • We must deliver increasingly powerful services for customers.
  • UMB and WiMAX will likely co-exist.

Mobile Internet: Realizing the Business Potential in the New Multimedia World (Pankaj Asundi, Vice President Media and Content, Ericsson)

  • The "My Life" video was a great depiction of potential of global interaction via online connection, as told by person in the future recalling digital interaction events of the past.
  • We must think how services may affect users in their lives.
  • "Digital natives" are those that grow up in connected world.
  • The rich digital lifestyle is changing consumer behavior.
  • We must sure people get what they want, when they want it. Users must be at the center of the design process.
  • The mobile media value chain is transforming rapidly, including advertisers, media companies, aggregators, carriers and consumers (acting both as generators and consumers of content).
  • Multiple industries (telco, web and new media) are addressing consumers (same wallet, same attention span) from three different angles. The three industries need to come together.
  • Participants in the value chain must:
    • Reach the user across multiple channels and platforms.
    • Engage the user by richer and more compelling services.
    • Monetize the user by leveraging customer insight and adapting musiness models.
Marketing in a New Mobile World (Larry Weber, Chairman and Founder, W2 Group)
  • Software vendors will take over the mobile industry, as they took over the computer industry in late 1980's.
  • The mobile device is becoming the primary user device - not the laptop or PC.
  • We are too technically focused. We must focus on creating environments on mobile. Transactions will come after creation of environment.
  • Mobile advertizing is the next frontier. One third of the $120 billion in TV ads are DVR'd and skipped. This will drive a big shift from TV to mobile and social media on the web.
  • We must not focus on mobile as a single medium. The challenge is to bring many media types together.
  • Demographics are no longer the most important advertizing factors. Behavior is key.
  • Brands will need to engage with specific audiences they wish to reach. The mobile device and be the ultimate method for carrying on dialog with consumer.
  • The phone is a social device. The killer app is conversation. That fundamental concept begs to be leveraged.

Executive Roundtable: Mobile Internet Ecosystem (Panel discussion led by Berge Ayvazian, CSO Yankee Group, Conference Co-Chair)

James Pearce, Vice President of Technology, dotMobi (.mobi domain)
Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director, CMO Council
B. Craig Cumberland, Sr. Director Technology and Applications Marketing, Nokia
Lawrence (Larry) Moores, Vice President, Global Marketing and Product Management, Real Networks

  • The ecosystem includes everything from the handset to the rest of the world.
  • Customer expectations goes ahead of technology adaptation - continues to challenge technology.
  • Consumers are suffering "function fatique and feature frustration" on handsets, while not necessarily getting functions they want.
  • Developers are a critical part of the ecosystems. One positive thing about Android is that it puts developers at the front of the queue.
  • A large percent of smart phone users are active users of mobile Internet.
  • SMS has not yet been leveraged to its potential.
  • We are still struggling with compelling user experience - just not there yet.
  • Content licensing or Digital Rights Management are big problems

How Carriers Drive Revenues from the Mobile Web Today (Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software)

  • Opera's vision is to provide the best Internet experience on any device.
  • 26 million people have downloaded and used Opera Mini
  • Widgets are a method of providing special user experience within a web brower. Over 1500 widgets have been developed for the Opera browser. WC3 is working on widget standard.
  • Examples of carriers successfully using the Opera browser include T-mobile, KDDI and Vodafone.
Content Adaptation: Wired to Mobile (Brendan Benzing, InfoSpace, Inc.; Eran Wyler, InfoGin)
  • Search and navigation will be starting point for all mobile media.
  • No one portal will serve needs of all people.
  • Search should be optimized for the phone.
  • Content can't just be transcoded. It must be understood and translated to the small screen.
  • InfoGin handles javascript and Flash and copes with sites optimized for Internet Explorer.
Venture Capital Activity in the Mobile Internet Ecosystem (Paul Schaut, Independent Advisor - was CEO of Internet bubble company)

Bob Geiman, Polaris Ventures
Jeff Glass, Bain Capital
B. Lane MacDonald, Alta Communications
Dinesh Moorjani, IAC Search and Media

  • Key trends and challenges
    • Is the mobile Internet different than the Internet?
    • Will new brands be created or will existing brands move to this space?
    • Will carriers let new brands emerge in this space?
    • Can you build your own brand in this space?
    • Without the right capacity, services become meaningless - are investments happening to enable this?
    • Carriers would rather that video streaming not happen on the cellular network. New networks are needed.
    • The tremendous number of permutations of handsets, operating systems, code bases, etc., is not solved yet.
  • The one-to-one interface of the mobile is attractive for targeted advertizing. Its potential is enormous.
  • Carriers hold the bulk of power in the industry - determination of who wins depends largely on them.
  • The iPhone has increased general awareness of the potential of mobile devices, but Apple is not friendly to companies who want to chart their own destiny.
  • The Google-led Open Handset Alliance is generating buzz but it is too early to tell about success. Google becoming a dominant force in mobile doesn't necessarily foster innovation, because they can squash startups.
  • Advice to Startups:
    • Startups need to balance working through carriers and selling direct to consumers, providing multifaceted distribution channels
    • Think about mobile's strong opportunity in developing markets.
    • Learn from those who have gone before you - figure out what is working - refine the model to get scale.
    • If you are trying something that is not working, find new ways leverage what you have ; build strategic assets.
    • Pay attention to the folks in the value chain that can say yes or no along the way. Have a value proposition that can satisfy needs of everyone who can say yes or no.

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