MWC 2012 Preview: From wireless apps to vertical market innovation

George Malim previews Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and looks at what’s likely to be of greatest interest for Wireless readers

MWC 2012 Preview: From wireless apps to vertical market innovation

Mobile World Congress is one of those giant shows – this year around 60,000 visitors are expected to attend – that can be difficult to digest and get around. While the event is the mobile industry’s annual jamboree, it isn’t just confined to GSM technologies. It also looks at emerging business models, integration across technology platforms and the regulatory environment.

Operators’ predictions

With LTE now rolling out across many markets, mobile industry visitors will be keen to learn the lessons of the early deployments, but perhaps of more interest to Wireless readers will be how other wireless technologies and applications will fit into the all-IP LTE landscape.

A host of operator executives will be sharing their experiences and their predictions for the future. Ralph de la Vega, the president and chief executive of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, will discuss his company’s plans following its LTE launch last year. Li Yue, president of China Mobile, will also speak at the event and is expected to share some of his experiences in bringing mobile to a massive population.

The European operator groups, which have been slower to launch LTE partly due to regulation and licence availability, will also be well represented with Deutsche Telekom’s René Obermann, Vodafone’s Vittorio Colao and Telecom Italia Group’s Franco Bernabè all giving keynote speeches.

New ecosystems

However, away from the consumer mobile focus there’s an obvious need for LTE to hand off to other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and WiMAX, but many of the IP-based applications coming to market will be applicable to users of TETRA, P25, DMR and DPMR networks.

Accordingly, event organisers the GSMA have included several conference streams that address the applications and vertical market ecosystems surrounding wireless. These include: mobile health, retail, workforce productivity, NFC services, embedded mobile and mobile money.

Highlights include a discussion on ‘Maximising Workforce Productivity in the Age of Consumerisation’. This session will discuss the challenges faced by mobile network operators and other service providers in rolling out mobile enterprise solutions in the age of IT consumerisation and will also ask how enterprises can most effectively utilise mobile technologies to maximise workforce productivity.

Speakers will include Fernando Alvarez Tabio, VP and mobility solutions practice leader, Capgemini, Alan Panezic, VP of enterprise product management and marketing at RIM, and Juan Carlos López-Vives, CEO of Telefónica Multinational Solutions.

Embedded mobile

A similar discussion will be held on embedded mobile. That’s mobile in, for example, ereaders and tablets, with the automotive, healthcare and utilities sectors representing relatively untapped market opportunities for the mobile ecosystem. This session will provide an overview of the state of the embedded market and will explore which vertical sectors represent the greatest market opportunities.

Speakers will include Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T, Dr. Michael Würtenberger, VP of  ConnectedDrive, Infotainment at BMW Group and Amir Lahat, head of business ventures at Nokia Siemens Networks.

When it comes to mHealth, the real change will come with scale, which means, in many cases, getting mobile into existing government and private health systems. This session will look at what has been done to date to get mobile health integrated into and supported by large health systems. Speakers at the discussion will include Sailesh Chutani, CEO of Mobisante, and Don Jones, VP of wireless health market development and global strategy at Qualcomm Labs.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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