The session was entirely Q&A (no slides) which resulted in a great discussion – broad ranging and much better than talking heads reading slides! Luca has already written up his reactions.
I'm writing this after the fact as, at the last minute, I was tagged to participate, filling in for Vincenz Wagner of Jamba who's arrival has been delayed. The opening session at Connect 2007 in Madrid was entitled "Industry Overview" with Joel Hughes, VP & GM of our Mobile Applications business moderating. In the end the panelists were:
- Philip Kelley, Director, Mobile TV Standardization, Alcatel-Lucent
- Kari Lahtinen, Business Development Manager, Elisa Corporation
- Peter Karney, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, NEC
- Brough Turner, i.e. yours truly :-)
Since I was participating, I have only a few interesting items (at least interesting to me) that I noted during this discussion:
Philip commented that the predominate use of 3G is to connect PCs to the Internet, i.e. dumb pipe mobile Internet access. Philip also mentioned Triple Play, which seems old hat to me, as innovative in (parts of) Europe. I argued that this was marketing innovation (bundling), not really a new service. We agreed the innovation was in cost and convenience of the services.
Several panelists seem to think that innovation would come by porting Internet applications to the mobile space. I argued that was currently true, but only because the Internet was open and mobile was still closed. There are many characteristics of mobile (like mobility and intimacy) that will foster new applications but we don't yet have the open environment that allows zillions of developers to experiment.
At one point, I made a derogatory comment about most VoIP being just digital POTS. The ensuing discussion brought out the parallel between Skype (which combines voice and IM) with what's happened in mobile telephony, i.e. the combination of voice and SMS to achieve the same objectives. Either way, people want to determine the actual availability of the person they are about to call and people need a way to communicate when they can't talk.