MWC 2013: Fiesta, Siesta or Vista?

The Mobile World Congress 2013 has closed its doors. 1700 exhibitors (+200). 72000 visitors (+7000). But what remains? Fiesta, Siesta or Vista? Was it a party, a nap, or a vision? It depends on the beholder. Some were bored, some excited, and some inspired. We could see the Internet of Things leaving the horizon, cloud computing permeating the mobile network, and a few surprises with user devices.

The Internet of Things, this will be the 50 Billion mobile devices by 2020 as predicted by Ericsson, connected to the Internet, realizing services hosted on cloud computing centers scattered all over the globe. Most of these devices will not be smartphones or tablets, but rather sensors, smart objects and commodities, smart tags, robots, vehicles and the like. It will be machines talking to machines (M2M), and sometimes also to humans. Most of these interaction will be wireless. The result will be Big Data, a gigantic amount of data, constantly growing at incredible speed. Tremendous growth is expected and the ecosystems are starting to evolve. They mainly cluster around the concept of Smart Cities, one of our current big challenges.

New business models start to appear. They are built around the Big Data being collected. Imagine a smart car generating lots of usage data. Insurance companies can generate special tariffs, depending on the type of usage. Some end user will like it, because of the money they can save. A similar principle applies to car maintenance contracts. Even car sharing models such as zipcar become manageable. Your fridge will never be empty, but always contain your favorite food, delivered just in time. You don’t even have to go shopping for it, if you don’t want to. You will always be guided to an empty parking place. You will never miss a train or wait for a long time at the station for a friend to pick you up. Intelligent traffic management systems calculate the optimal route for your car to be there on time. Municipalities will save money while being able to offer better and sustainable service.

To exploit these data and to interconnect services and businesses Service Delivery Platforms are necessary which comply with standards and are able to integrate legacy M2M solutions. The cloud offers M2M-as-a-Service. However, equally important will be the bandwidth available to the users. To be more precise: bandwidth without frustrating quality of service. This type of bandwidth is a scarce resource. Both, the mobile cells and the outer parts of the backhaul often operate at their capacity limits. One of the solutions here are small cells, miniature, short-range base stations. Millions of them. Small cells come as complete packages including multi-mode and management. The end users will neither realize that they are there, nor that they are suddenly connected to one. But they will experience them as the quality of service increases, and the life of their batteries stretches. Infonetics predicts a bright future for these small invisible helpers.

We also saw a paradigm shift for the end user devices. Firefox OS – similar to Google’s Chrome OS – executes HTML5 code without a browser. At the same time this HTML5 app is portable: an app developed for Firefox OS runs as well in a standard mobile browser of other platforms such as Android, iOS or Windows. This is a key differentiator: apps just need to be developed once and execute everywhere, with little or no effort. Even the portation of an existing web app to the new platform is cheap. Firefox OS will start as a cost-effective solution for threshold countries, replacing feature phones by low-cost smartphones. An additional side-effect is that this new OS allows network operators to gain access to the application layer again. They can now create their own app market and can compete with the established OTT ones from Android and iOS.

Need a new phone? Why not considering YotaPhone? One phone, two displays. Half smartphone, half e-reader. A high-resolution liquid crystal display on one side and an electronic paper display (EDP) on the other. If you use it intelligently, you can save a lot of battery.

What is your opinion? Was this year’s Mobile World Congress a Fiesta, a Siesta, or was it Vista? You can discuss it here, or life at Cambridge Wireless.

Autor: Bernd Stahl

1 Response to “MWC 2013: Fiesta, Siesta or Vista?”

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