Miscellaneous Observations From 3GSM Show

We went to the 3GSM show recently, to help track the mobile messaging world. 3GSM is the big meeting place for cell phone operators. It's a mix of exhibition and presentation, and was held in Barcelona, Spain, February 13-16. There were around 40,000 attendees.

Miscellaneous observations:

  • A specter haunted the show. The specter that voice traffic and SMS -- the lifeblood of the business -- will be declining sources of revenues.
  • A further specter haunted the show. The specter that operators will be forced to deploy their 3G IP networks, and that competitive pressures will cause many services to be very inexpensive, or free. Carriers don't want that -- they are used to charging for content.
  • There's great interest in pumping other applications across the network, such as video. The goal being to charge content-based tariffs.
  • The big names of the IT world are often little known to telcos; e.g., EMC, Trend, and McAfee were there, but they had little visibility.
  • Suits and ties were the uniform -- unlike computer shows, where they are the exception.
  • Some vendors had striking names. The hands-down winner was Sex Navigator. This is a Spanish content provider, emphasizing a certain, well, niche in the recreational marketplace.

... David Ferris

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