Some highlights from the first panel at Connect 2007 in Boston...
Andrew Budd of mBlox is very articulate on the need for wholesale models, i.e. not the "real" Internet, but a mobile world where operators allow (facilitate) customer access to 3rd party content. This is the compromise position between the typical walled garden operator and the completely open Internet (which Dean Bubley pressed in a question from the floor). Andrew's argument against the wide open mobile Internet is roughly that we don't want the 900 number meltdown that we saw in the US in the 1990s (when premium rate services became associated with scams and porn).
Likewise, Jud Bowman of Motricity, clearly expects the "real" Internet to win eventually, but in a long transition in which operator run programs dominate. Jud made an interesting point I need to double check: PC's are only upgraded every 4-6 years (can it be that bad?) whereas mobiles are upgraded every 2 years (in the US). The implication is we'll see very rapid change in the mobile market in the next 2-4 years as handset vendors learn from the UI of the iPhone and 3G data capacity continues to evolve.
Michael Scully, Director of Music, Mobile Content and Data, at Virgin Mobile USA was the one operator representative on the panel and, as might be expected, (and completely legitimately), pressed the point that Virgin Mobile has a relationship with their customers that centers around a very personal device - their mobile phone.
Another set of numbers (from Andrew Budd) that I need to check out: The mobile industry is worth $700B whereas the Internet is only worth $150B. That was partly contested by Seamus McAteer of M:Metrics but I didn't hear an alternate set of numbers.