3GSM Barcelona wrap-up

Publié le par Jean Arnal

  • the largest mobile event with 1300 exhibitors and over 55,000 visitors.

  • 25% of visitors initiated contract negotiations, 10% concluded deals,

  • Hot topics were: mobile TV, 3G+ and 4G, content and DRMs, convergence, IMS, GPS

    • convergence: mobile operators plan to enter (or develop) fixed line business (many examples: Vodafone, Orange, .... Orascom,...). IMS is the biggest network transition to date, but still faces hurdles in implementing. Strong concerns for operators, and gradual implementation.

    • 3G is still a priority: 3G handsets for All (GSMA initiative won by LG for millions of handsets); forecast of 175m 3G users by the end of the year with good opportunities; x by 5 in next 3 years; 3G handset costs will go down soon;

    • 3G+ and 4G: includes LTE/ WiMAX/ OFDM and 4G; strong activity in standardization, demos (DoCoMo and Ericsson), but low receptivity by operators and consumers, except Vodafone, which tries to push LTE and warns the mobile industry of WiMAX advance; vendors are more mixed as some are demonstrating LTE, WiMAX;

    • Mobile TV: many mobile TV announcements including DVB-H, DVB-HS or proprietary technology (MediaFlo). MediaFlo received endorsements from AT&T and Verizon; but general skepticism, backed by M:Metrics study revealing that almost 20% of former mobile TV users did not renew their subscription in Europe because of prices, reliability and quality issues;

    • content and DRM: the trend in content could be to focus on rich media content with high value and providing free telephony (a stance I already heard 10 years ago!!). Short term: focus on music, video and TV; a lot of small start-ups are acting in the market (Envivio, Streamezzo, Dibcom, Opensugar, ...); on the DRM side, introduction of new Microsoft DRM solution with PlayReady (already supported by AT&T and Verizon) in competition with Apple' s FairPlay; DRM will remain an issue for some time;

    • Web giants are arriving: Yahoo, Google, Microsoft are entering the mobile business mainly with search engines, portals and mobile ads;

    • wave of mobile handsets: too long to name all new products; the high end segment is featured with mobile TV, music, video and GPS, the low end/ low cost segment is targeting emerging markets; two new OS were introduced: Microsoft Windows 6 and rival Access ACE. Some vendors are pushing the GPS segment, such as Nokia and RIM.

    • Infrastructure segment: Chinese vendors were the most active with ZTE introducing a 3G micro base station and a femtocell Home NodeB, and Huawei adding the first HSDPA USB modem.

  • Will customer relative dissatisfaction have an impact on operator strategy? (see mobile consumer realism below)

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