In February, industry stalwarts and those involved in every aspect of mobile business will converge on the Fira de Barcelona for what promises to be the biggest event to date.
Last year over 49,000 visitors attended the GSMA Mobile World Congress from over 192 countries around the globe. The event is a big draw for the media too, and with more than 2,400 members of the press representing over 1,600 media organisations, the event will be heaving with journalists looking for that scoop.
With the theme for 2011 being ‘Leading the Transformation’, this year’s event will feature a world-class line up of speakers at the conference including keynote presentations from: Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google; Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft; Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter; Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive, WPP; Stephen Elop, president and CEO, Nokia; and Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO, NTT DoCoMo.
Among the topics discussed in these keynote sessions will be ‘The View from the Top’, ‘The Power of Applications’, ‘The Evolution of the Mobile Internet’, and ‘Connecting the Dots: A 360° View on Consumer Electronics’.
The conference programme itself will feature dedicated tracks on applications, advertising, mobile money, mHealth, embedded mobile, next-generation technologies and OSS/BSS, as well as break out sessions exploring business strategy, cloud computing, consumer electronics, devices, media and entertainment, network capacity and social networking.
In addition to the keynote programme, the Mobile World Congress conference will feature a Mobile Ad Forum. This addresses the unique requirements of brand and services marketers, advertising agencies, mobile operators and others in the mobile advertising value chain, as well as an App Planet Forum, which explores opportunities and issues in the mobile applications space.
With apps expected to have an even greater impact upon the mobile marketplace this year, the GSMA has also announced five new application developer conferences (ADCs) as part of the App Planet event, which the GSMA expects more than 10,000 application developers to attend at Mobile World Congress.
Microsoft, Nokia, the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) and Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP) have all confirmed that they will be holding ADCs as part of App Planet this year, and with LTE expected to create more and more headlines in 2011, there will
be an LTE forum with a variety of partner-led sessions.
Indeed, the event itself will feature over 22 focused break out sessions, providing essential insights on current and future trends impacting upon the constantly evolving mobile industry.
Of particular interest to readers of Wireless should be the large focus on mobile health taking place on the first day of the event, with three sessions and over four-and-a-half hours of time being devoted exclusively to this on the conference agenda.
As well as looking at how those involved with mHealth can turn a good profit, the sessions will also explore issues around payment, data privacy, regulation and the role that operators themselves will have to play in this new, exciting area and complex value chain.
Developments in and around remote and self-monitoring will be carefully evaluated in mWellness – Remote Monitoring & Preventive Care where attendees will hear about the cost efficiencies and worries surrounding this rapidly evolving space, as well as how patients themselves can store and compare their own data by wirelessly uploading it into their smartphones. In addition, there will also be a look at the future of the market and what those involved might expect to see in the next five years. Tuesday’s opening keynote will see CEOs of some of the world’s largest mobile operators including Robert G Conway, CEO, GSMA and Vittorio Colao, chief executive, Vodafone, deliver their take on the current state of mobile and discuss where the next decade might take us. There will also be insights into current growth strategies and how these enterprises are dealing with the increasing burdens placed upon networks and current business models.
For those interested in how enterprises might truly harness the power of applications going forward, the second keynote session on The Power of Applications features Randall Stephenson, chairman, CEO and president, AT&T and Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, Ericsson, among others, discussing the developments within this space and how apps might better be harnessed and utilised to provide real business benefits – such as improved productivity and enabling transactions – as well as improving workforce productivity and providing additional much-needed revenues for all parties within this ecosystem.
A session on Mobile Enterprise on Tuesday afternoon also seems appealing to those looking for answers as to how businesses will cope with the increasing drive towards a remotely connected workforce that seeks to combine smart devices, store information in the cloud and operate 24/7. As well as looking at the implications for security and connectivity this will also discuss what those on the supply side, such as equipment vendors and operators, have been doing to address these evolving challenges.
With LTE deployments beginning to take hold, the session on Network Breaking Point on day two of the conference should also provide some food for thought as to what businesses are going to do with a capacity crunch looming for network operators. The session will also consider whether LTE deployments can help operators and businesses alike.
In amongst all this, conference attendees will be able to hear about the latest developments in mobile cloud computing for both the enterprise and consumers, and learn about how they should be preparing to adapt their strategies for privacy and security as the mobile internet takes pole position over the coming years.
There will also be opportunities to get in-depth insights as to how the likes of Voice over LTE (VoLTE), telematics, embedded utilities and the use of mobile technology in the public sector will continue to shape the enterprise market.
Oh, and there’s the GSMA Global Mobile Awards and gala party on Tuesday 15 February at the National Palace in Montjuïc, which is always worth attending.