I recently attended the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. According the Wikipedia, GSMA is the combination of the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a congress featuring prominent Chief Executives representing mobile operators, (handset) vendors and content owners from across the world.
This year’s GSMA event was much larger than the 2009. There was a large turnout and more upbeat and excitement. If I could sum up the conference in one take-away – it was Mobile Carrier Confusion – mainly stemming from the iPhone phenomena. The iPhone put a big stick in the spokes of the industry, and the carriers are now trying to get back on track.
This conclusion is based on a few general observations from the event:
1) Device manufacturers and mobile carriers have both finally realized that mobile device operating systems are as important, if not more important, that device design. Neither is sure how to tackle this issue.
2) After years of apathy around mobile applications, both device manufacturers and mobile carriers are placing major emphasis and resources around application stores. Neither is sure how to tackle this issue.
3) Mobile carriers are not sure how or why to invest in new, multi-billion dollar 4th generation networks, while more emerging markets are still evaluating 3G infrastructure.
4) Mobile carriers are having trouble formulating a growth story for the next 10 years.
I will post 4 blogs on the above 4 issues.