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Musings & Forecasts From Barcelona


April 14, 2015  


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Mobile World Congress delivers many views on the current state of the ICT industry. Below is a sprinkling from the MWC 2015 edition, which took place last month in Barcelona, garnered either through one-on-one interviews with Connections+, press conferences and blogs.

Jason Hoffman:
Head of Cloud Technology at Ericsson

“Cloud technologies to date have fallen short. There are two axis within the industry today. On one hand we have this need to actually innovate and develop new applications and use data within our businesses much more rapidly than before. That means, in some cases, ungoverned clouds.

“We also see behaviours where people are not innovating. They are very concerned with governance and security and locking down the infrastructure from a policy standpoint.

“A lot of global executives are in fact making this trade-off between speed and risk. They are making a tradeoff between governance and innovation. We think there is an opportunity here to sit down and say, how do you put an infrastructure in place that allows people to rapidly innovate, produce new applications and combine data in new ways yet actually have a phenomenal governance modeling order to make all the stakeholders happy.”

Dr. Kevin Curran
School of Computing and Intelligent Systems
University of Ulster
Member of the IEEE

“Wearables stick out (in Barcelona). This is the year we will see again if there is a market for smart watches. I do suspect that even the manufacturers realize it’s a niche market. I think Apple came closest  in what we have seen so far when it comes to wearables by making it a notification hub without trying to replicate the functionality of a phone, because that does not work on your wrist. But if you can answer a call without having to constantly reach into your pocket to grab the phone then that can help. It makes you more productive

“I don’t get the focus on the fitness and the health so much. I am a fitness freak myself, but I know I just have to run. I don’t need these things to tell me. I don’t believe people pay attention after the first day. These are probably designed by people in Silicon Valley who are fit 20-year-old males without any kids. When they start to test the market they will find that not everyone is obsessed with fitness as they are.

“As for IoT, unfortunately not everything that can be connected should be connected to the Internet. There are going to be a lot of flaws and we are going to see leaks that we have never seen before. Things are being connected that no one ever envisioned they would be connected to a network. There is no encryption, there is no security, it’s wide open. There are going to be problems when data is collected on a scale of this magnitude.

Jane Rygaard
Head of CEM, Core & OSS
MCA Portfolio Marketing
Nokia

“The whole experience part with regard to analytics and how to use big data in the right way is critical. Big data is just a technology, but what do we do with the output of it, how do we use it and what data is available?

“We talk about five key trends here: The cloud, IoT, big data and analytics and smart location experiences.”

An example of that took place at the Nokia booth where the company demonstrated the “possibilities of mobile connectivity for IoT. The transition to IoT, it said, means that “we will soon live in a world with between 10 and 100 times more Internet-connected devices than there are connected humans. Real time IoT will require even more reliable communication links, lower transmission delays (latencies) and extreme throughput to serve the data transmitted by hundreds of billions of sensors and machines.”

Brent Cohler
Director of Mobile Marketing
SAP

“Enabling enterprises to run simple and make their customers or consumers’ lives, better. That encompasses everything we do.

“When it comes to IoT we have been talking about it for years, but now the stories are starting to materialize in real use cases. What we are seeing will continue to skyrocket on this trajectory that it has already on …”

On Day One of MWC15, SAP CEO Bill McDermott, wrote that mobile is no longer just about apps, it is about enabling a single, cohesive value chain that begins and ends with empathy for the individual user on the device of their choosing.

“Everything begins with the user because 21st century mobile experiences require user-specific context as the key ingredient. We can’t unlock the value of technology if we don’t understand (and use) all available information about that individual.

“Where in the world are they and where are they trying to go? What are they trying to accomplish? What are their interests, challenges, likes and limitations? All of this information is as significant for a business traveller as it is for a as it is for a field mechanic on the job. This information is context – and context is the fuel that drives the mobile experience.”

Carl Piva
Vice President, Strategic Programs
TM Forum

“Traditional telco models that used to work so well a few years ago are collapsing one after the other. There is no value in trying to revive those again. You have to go outwards and find other ways of making money.

“We are at an inflection point. There are two really big options: You either try and squeeze the most out what got you there or you can actually embrace the change that is bound to happen and make sure that you lead.

“What will enable the next big shift in this world will be the fact all of this telco-grade hardware that we have been used to seeing will be replaced by low-cost IP fabric with software on top that you can repurpose based on your needs and the current requirement of the day.”

It is, said Piva, better to be nimble than big.

TM Forum is a non-profit global industry association, which helps “its members transform and succeed in the digital economy.”


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