February 16, 2008

My obligatory MWC write-up…

…but I’ll keep it short. That I can so easily tells you everything you need to know about the show.

There’s a lot going on at the the Mobile World Congress, and of course there are lots of sub-markets and sub-industries being represented. But the thrust of the show is pure telecoms. Device and infrastructure vendors trying to wow network operators.

Everything else (in particular, hall 7, complete with porn and prayer room) is really just a side show. However important you think content provision are, you can guarantee the telecoms world doesn’t.

So, on that basis, the show was rather disappointing.

If the handsets launched were supposed to be some sort of comeback, then Cupertino will sleep easily. That side of the show was dominated by one company – who didn’t even turn up – and I thought everything else was utterly underwhelming. (At most I might see myself with an X1)

And on the network side, I’ve rather lost track. The acronyms are getting farcical. Too long for me to remember which ones are which, and which ones are actually synonyms for something else. So forgive my naive conclusion that there was little news there either.

In previous years, the implicit message from GSM was “We are the Masters of the Universe”. This year, there’s nervousness. This is an industry that knows it is about to be disrupted, but doesn’t quite know what to do about it.

On a personal note, the show was most notable for the number of virtual folks I finally got to meet: James Whatley gets special thanks for finding me a personal mobby. After days of being locked in with analysts and journalists, it was nice to come out blinking into the sun and meet people who speak my language :-)

Comments (6)

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