Last week’s Mobile World Congress provided great insight into the future of connected devices, mobile commerce and the cloud. Discussions surrounded new devices, technologies and connections as some of the best and brightest influencers in the mobile world gathered for the industry’s biggest show. According to GSMA, over 67,000 visitors from 205 countries attended this year’s 2012 Mobile World Congress, marking a new attendance record for the show.
One of the most interesting keynotes was conducted by John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, who noted that cloud and mobile will be changing the service provider industry. Operators who don’t join the mobile cloud trend, which is already here, will be left behind. Chambers explained that what once was a connected world is now hyper-connected, and 40% of cloud loads will be off a mobile environment. Chambers continued to provide important stats, including the forecast of 7.2 billion mobile devices by 2015, providing even more opportunities for mobile providers offering cloud services.
The cloud was a big theme this year and many cloud-based technologies, solutions, and apps were unveiled. Synchronoss’ own EVP, Product Management and Chief Strategy Officer, Biju Nair, spoke about mobile applications and ‘The Future of Voice & Messaging” on a panel on February 27th. Biju was joined by senior executives from, Deutsche Telekom, Telenor Comoyo, Viber, and WhatsApp, and discussed the evolving mobile marketplace, the shift in power between operators and consumers and what mobile voice and messaging will look like in years to come.
The panel was extremely well attended due to the popularity (or controversial nature) of the topic. As Synchronoss pointed out, in 2011, carriers lost roughly $14B in revenue due to over the top players running apps that take over messaging and voice. Synchronoss’ position on this is that new entrants are very valuable to the eco-system as they bring forth much stronger innovation. The carriers, however, are the only ones who will be able to offer end-to-end support for such services; e.g. an over the top player offering voice service over LTE may drop the call when LTE coverage runs out, however a carrier’s service when integrated will gracefully handover to other available networks. Carriers can also take these innovative ideas and integrate with other core services, such as voice mail etc.
It will be interesting to see in the year ahead until MWC 2013 who is able to adapt the changes brought about by the cloud and how SoMoClo will transform the mobile world and the ways we connect. The cloud is here – are you prepared?