Mobile Minute kicked off the new year and the new decade with its first webinar – “Next-Gen Data Services: Adding Value to Traffic” – on February 4. You can access a full replay of the webinar here and on the Mobile Minute page of our website.
The event’s approximately 460 registrants came from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the U.S., and Canada. Attendees represented a broad cross-section of wireless network operators and other participants in the mobile ecosystem.
FierceWireless Editor Phil Goldstein moderated a panel consisting of three speakers: Fabio Mungo, chief technology officer of Accenture Mobility Operated Services; Scott Lane, director of 4G Product Marketing at Sprint; and Joel Brand, vice president of Product Management at Bytemobile.
Fabio Mungo led off the discussion with an overview of the mobility market, its drivers and the impact of those drivers. He characterized it as a ‘market of mass niches’ rather than a mass market per se, indicating that entertainment and data products would drive the U.S. segment to $200 billion in 2010. Mungo cited the interconnection among multiple devices and applications as a key cause and effect of the ‘always connected lifestyle’. He added that low-cost devices and ubiquitous connectivity will continue to spawn a wealth of new mobile applications and business models.
Scott Lane cited the magnitude of the mobile data revolution as comparable with – or potentially even greater than – the PC and internet revolutions that had preceded it. From the carrier’s perspective, the three critical elements for success are: 1) a network to process and deliver the data traffic; 2) spectrum to provide ample capacity for the network; and 3) devices to deliver value to the consumer. Lane also discussed the details of Sprint’s 4G network build-out based on WiMax technology.
Joel Brand focused his presentation on mobile data rate plans of the future, which should balance the respective needs of consumers, carriers and content providers. He cited the impact of flat-rate pricing on the data traffic explosion and subsequent evaporation of data revenue in proportion to volume, as well as the side effect of network resource monopolization by a small percentage of users. The challenge for carriers is to map rate plans to user needs and preferences and to communicate with their customers in order to build value over time. Brand closed with a brief overview of Bytemobile’s WebGate™ Service, which provides carriers with numerous capabilities to meet this challenge.
The webinar concluded with a robust question-and-answer session in which Mungo, Lane and Brand fielded inquiries ranging from ‘Is it necessary to proxy all traffic through a service delivery platform in order to add value?’ (no) to ‘What specific mobile data applications will generate more revenue in the next four to five years?’ (video). Also, the following poll question was posed to the participants and yielded an interesting mix of responses:
Other Mobile Minute events are being planned for the coming months. We will cover these events on our blog and website as part of our ongoing efforts to provide thought leadership and consultative education to the rapidly evolving mobile internet space.