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Partner Event: Paid Content 2010 coming up January 30, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

paidContent 2010 - square logo

Our media partner moconews is putting together a pretty good event on Paid Content. Given all the commotion around pay walls and monetization of content, should be a pretty good discussion. The speaker line up is terrific.

Roster includes Hilary Schneider, EVP for Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) North America, who will take part in a Q&A; Steven Brill, Co-Founder, Journalism Online; Bruce Campbell, President, Digital Media and Corporate Development, Discovery Communications; (NSDQ: DISCA) Rio Caraeff, CEO, Vevo; Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News; Shawn Colo, Co-Founder, Demand Media; Bart Decrem, Co-Founder and CEO, Tapulous; Kenneth ‘KC’ Estenson, SVP and GM, CNN.com; Rob Grimshaw, Managing Director, FT.com; Cella Irvine, President and CEO, The About Group; Patrick Keane, CEO, Associated Content; Marty Moe, SVP, AOL (NYSE: AOL) Money & Finance; Quincy Smith, partner, Code Advisors and former head of CBS Interactive; (NYSE: CBS) and John Squires, Interim Managing Director, Next Issue Media.

Date: Feb 19th.

Tickets are selling fast so please register now. The $895 Early Bird ends Jan. 31; the price increases to $1,195 on Feb. 1. We can provide a discount for groups of three or more; contact paidContent2010@ContentNext.com for more details.

New Whitepaper: Role of Optical Wireless Broadband in the Evolving Mobile Ecosystem January 27, 2010

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,Devices,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,Infrastructure,Location Based Services,M&A,Microsoft Mobile,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,US Wireless Market,Wi-Fi,WiMax,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 4 comments

Role of Optical Wireless Broadband in the Evolving Mobile Ecosystem



Sponsored by Skyfiber

These are exciting times in the wireless industry. The innovation in technology, services, and business models is driving the global industry to new heights. While the global markets were feeling the pain of a brutal recession, the wireless industry for the most part sidestepped the crisis, especially the US and Asian markets. In the US, 2009 was a banner year for the mobile data services and applications. Each of the four quarters exceeded $10 billion in mobile data services revenue and the subscription penetration was approximately 93% by the end of the year.

The mobile industry is going through significant transition from being voice-centric to data-centric, from consumers spending 90% of their time talking to 80% of the time spending on mobile data and games. The main drivers of such an evolution are: better devices like the iPhone, Droid, Pre, Bold, etc., higher capacity networks such as WCDMA, HSPA+, and EV-DO Rev A, flat rate data pricing, and a heightened consumer awareness of mobile applications and services. This has boosted both the consumer engagement and the revenues from data services.

However, this increased usage comes at a cost. As users are becoming accustomed to an always-on, always-connected world of mobile, they are consuming tremendous amount of data that is putting significant burden on the networks especially the backhaul. Further, as the need for the bandwidth rises exponentially, we are approaching what FCC’s Chairman Genachowski termed as “a looming spectrum crisis.” In light of such infrastructure challenges, the industry needs to think outside-the-spectrum-box and think long-term else we will be in a perpetual cycle of crises. Traditional transmission technologies like Fiber and Microwave will benefit from complimentary technologies such as Optical Wireless Broadband (OWB), which enhances the operator’s toolbox to build out efficient broadband connectivity.

This paper discusses the mobile data growth, the backhaul demands, and the looming spectrum crisis in more detail. Further, the paper discusses the requirements for backhaul to support next generation traffic and the role of new technologies such as Optical Wireless Broadband to provide backhaul capacity solutions that are both economical as well as future-proof.

Download Paper (pdf)

Mobile-Ad M&A Frenzy May Continue January 26, 2010

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Talked to Businessweek about the Mobile Advertising M&A frenzy and what to expect in 2010


Note: There is a small error in the quote, it should be 10c for online CPM and not $10

Mobile-Ad M&A Frenzy May Continue

Google’s purchase of mobile-ad company AdMob could be the first of many deals in this hot sector

By Olga Kharif

Michael Bayle has been fielding a lot of phone calls in the two months since Google bought mobile-ad company AdMob for $750 million. Bayle is a vice-president at Amobee, also in the business of placing ads on wireless handsets. "Our phone has been ring-ringing off the hook," Bayle says. "We are speaking to a number of parties."

Startups that specialize in mobile advertising are getting a lot of phone calls these days. Possible acquirers are gunning for a slice of an industry that according to ABI Research may generate $1.14 billion in sales this year, almost four times the $297 million spent in 2008. "Mobile ads are [one of] the hottest areas in technology right now," says M&A expert Tom Taulli.

There’s especially high demand for so-called mobile-ad networks, such as Amobee, which act as middlemen between advertisers and wireless service providers to broker the placement of ads in games, videos, and other mobile content. Then there are mobile-ad exchanges, such as RingRing, which often get involved earlier in the process, helping connect advertisers with mobile-ad networks.

On Jan. 20, mobile Web browser software provider Opera bought ad exchange AdMarvel. Earlier this month, Apple (AAPL) snapped up mobile-ad network Quattro Wireless for $275 million to $300 million, according to published reports. AdMob was Google’s (GOOG) third-biggest acquisition to date. Other mobile-ad companies may fetch far less than $250 million, Taulli speculates. Still, the dealmaking is far from over.

Analysts say potential targets include ad networks Millennial Media, Jumptap, Greystripe, and Tapjoy, and ad exchanges such as Mobclix. "The AdMob acquisition blew the roof off [valuations]," says Sunil Verma, co-founder of Mobclix, which soon expects to close a funding round. "It validates the market size and potential, and that’s sparked a trickle-down effect on others." Verma declined to discuss funding details. To date, Mobclix has received $4 million to $5 million in angel funding from investors, including Verma and three other founders.


Millennial Media is the largest of the potential targets. It received a $16 million funding round in November and aims for an initial public share sale in 2011 or later but would consider a buyout sooner for the right price, Millennial Media CEO Paul Palmieri says.

After years of overoptimistic projections, advertisers are finally boosting spending on mobile ads as consumers step up purchases of smartphones that are better-equipped than cell phones for Web surfing. Jumptap’s revenue last year increased five times over its 2008 figure, says CEO Dan Olschwang. "More [advertisers] now treat mobile as a must-have component in their media mix," he says.

In November 2009, 61.5 million U.S. users accessed the Internet via mobile devices, up from 46.6 million a year earlier, according to Nielsen Mobile. Within five years, more people will access the Web via mobile devices than personal computers, Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst Mary Meeker said in a recent report.

Mobile ads may also be more effective, researchers say. Mobile ads have a higher so-called click-through rate, a measure of the rate at which an ad is clicked on by a person who views it. The rate for mobile ads is 2% to 5%, compared with 0.2% for PC-based online advertising, according to Chetan Sharma, an independent wireless industry analyst. Mobile ads are also less expensive, costing as little as $1 to $6 per 1,000 impressions, while a PC Web banner costs closer to $10, Sharma says.


Coca-Cola (KO), Honda (HMC), Intel (INTC), Motorola (MOT), and National Geographic are among companies now advertising on mobile phones. "The number of advertisers doing mobile programs has grown exponentially," says Paul Kultgen, a director at Nielsen. The researcher’s November survey showed that more than 1,000 advertisers now put out mobile display ads, a fivefold increase over a year earlier.

AOL (AOL), Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo! (YHOO), and Nokia (NOK) have acquired mobile-ad companies in the past several years and may make more purchases, analysts say. Representatives of all four companies declined to comment for this story. Handset makers such as Samsung and Motorola may also join the buying, analysts speculated. Representatives of both companies declined to comment. Online retailers Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) are also potential acquirers, says Olschwang of Jumptap. An eBay representative declined to comment, while an Amazon representative declined to comment.

Meantime, even potential targets are turning into acquirers. On Jan. 13, Amobee bought London-based RingRing Media for an undisclosed sum. Bayle says Amobee may make other purchases.

Kharif is a reporter for Bloomberg BusinessWeek in Portland, Ore.

How Apple can (will) redefine Mobile Advertising? January 21, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 2 comments

The predictions for mobile advertising M&A are finally coming true esp. the big ones with Google getting Admob and Apple snapping up Quattro, and there are others that are being planned right now, but who sets the tone going forward, who redefines the next evolutionary phase of mobile advertising, who sets the bar, who attracts the most campaigns and developers?

In our Mobile Advertising book, we had introduced the 5 point framework to think about mobile advertising. Since then, it has been adopted by major mobile advertising players and advertisers as a way to plan, manage, and monitor their efforts and campaigns.


The key elements of the framework are: Reach, Engagement, Targeting, Viral, and Transactions. Reach is always important and will remain the first filter applied to most campaigns, engagement has gotten better but many campaigns are still in dark ages, targeting has improved but still way below its potential, am still surprised that companies don’t embed a way to share in each and every aspect of the campaigns, and as far as the transaction is concerned, we are not even closed. Very few companies have “closed the loop.”

1. Reach – How many unique customers can you reach?

2. Targeting – Mobile thrives on targeting. Ad networks that can provide targeting beyond country, carrier, and handsets to location, demographic and context will be the ones offering more value to both the advertisers and the publishers. Table below lists some of the options available from some of the leading players in the ecosystem.

3. Engagement – One has to move away from just counting the number of clicks or the number landing page impressions and quickly start measuring engagements in the form of time spent, number of times content was saved or forwarded across the many mobile channels.

4. Viral – One of the key features of mobile is its ability of one-click sharing. If something is "good," it will catch-on fast. One has to only target the 1% power-users to reach 20-50% of the subscriber base. Such capability should be built into every campaign and measured accurately to determine its true effectiveness.

5. Transactions – As we mentioned before, mobile enables a closed loop functionality like no other medium. Transactions is essentially to measure the "true" ROA.

I have long argued that w/o the “closed loop,” advertising is a lot of waste with no real ROI. Advertisers can feel good about the creatives but if it is not yielding results, what are you smoking? If it is giving results, but you can’t measure it, then how can someone be trusted with yet another multi-million dollar campaign. I know this is the way things have been done for decades but over the last 24 months, things have been tilting towards digital, towards measurability, towards accountability. A number of big brands have stopped, i mean completely stopped spending money on print, radio and moving to digital.

This brings us back to the original question – who redefines the mobile advertising ecosystem and it very well might be Apple and the reason will be the iTunes platform, for the same reason Apple Appstore crushes every single appstore out there, the reason Google Android Marketplace hasn’t been successful – it is the billing, stupid.

By having a good control over the billing piece, Apple can provide an excellent end-to-end user experience and on the back-end measure every bit of information that can inform the developer, advertiser, Apple of what’s going on, discover trends much before the mainstream media does.

Apple can do the same thing with advertising – by providing a much more rich platform for engagement advertising i.e. the ads become much more engaging than the stale banner ads that go no where, you don’t loose the original page or app while navigating to an add.

It is quite likely, Apple will build a solid advertising platform that empowers developers and advertisers to truly harness the power of mobile advertising by providing the closed loop lab for experimenting and learning while keeping competitors at bay. So, who can compete with this strong proposition – Google and Carriers but Google Checkout has had  limited success and integrating with Carrier billing is not straightforward.

So, just like how Apple redefined the music industry, redefined the device industry, redefined the apps industry, it might very well redefine the mobile advertising industry. It has got the smarts, the vision, and the arsenal to make it all happen.

Mobile Breakfast Series: March 10th January 11, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 4 comments

Very excited about our keynotes this coming march. Get ready for terrific insights and discussion.

Have you registered yet?

March 10, 2010 7:30-11am. Location: TBD


Kevin Martin, Partner, Patton Boggs and former FCC Chairman

Kevin Martin is a former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and co-chair of Patton Boggs’ technology and communications practice. Mr. Martin has nearly two decades experience as a lawyer and policymaker in the telecommunications field, including his tenure as FCC Chairman from March 2005 to January 2009 when the industry was undergoing a period of unprecedented growth and innovation. Using his vast knowledge of the telecommunications industry, Mr. Martin helps clients take advantage of wireless and broadband opportunities, counseling businesses on their strategic business initiatives and the nuances of FCC regulations and communications policies.

While Mr. Martin was FCC Chairman, the Commission created a regulatory environment that encouraged infrastructure investment and broadband competition, leading to greater coverage and decreased prices for Americans. The number of broadband lines in the country doubled to more that 100 million. Under Mr. Martin’s leadership, the FCC conducted the two most successful and profitable spectrum auctions in U.S. history, raising almost $20 billion in 2008 alone. Mr. Martin also spearheaded the FCC’s initiative to dedicate more than $400 million to the construction of broadband networks for state-wide and regional health care networks reaching more than 6,000 health care facilities.

As FCC Chairman, Mr. Martin also represented the U.S. in dozens of bilateral negotiations and addressed numerous international conferences as a global leader on telecommunications and technology policy.

Before joining the FCC as a Commissioner in 2001, Mr. Martin was a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and served on the staff of the National Economic Council, focusing on commerce and technology policy issues. He served as the official U.S. government representative to the G-8’s Digital Opportunity Task Force. Mr. Martin was Deputy General Counsel on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Presidential campaign and also previously served as a counsel to a Commissioner at the FCC.

Rob Glaser, Founder, Chairman and CEO, RealNetworks Inc

Rob Glaser, Founder, Chairman and CEO of RealNetworks, Inc., has long been intrigued with the nexus of media, computing, communication and the Internet. Since founding Real in 1994, Mr. Glaser has played an integral role in the transformation of the Internet into the next great mass medium. In 1995 under Mr. Glaser’s direction, Real introduced the groundbreaking RealAudio. Followed by RealVideo, RealPlayer and the systems to distribute audio and video including the Helix technologies, RealNetworks has continued to innovate and bring technologies to market. Additionally in 2000, RealNetworks began offering aggregated premium content online directly to consumers in a subscription service. In 2003, RealNetworks purchased Listen.com and built the Rhapsody music service into the leading music subscription service. With the combination of technology and business systems for monetizing media, RealNetworks and Mr. Glaser are at the forefront of the Internet media revolution. Prior to founding RealNetworks, Inc., Mr. Glaser worked for Microsoft for 10 years in a number of executive positions, including Vice President of Multimedia and Consumer Systems. Mr. Glaser has served on several non-profit boards and committees, including his appointment by President Clinton to the Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters. Mr. Glaser is a graduate of Yale University, with a B.A. and an M.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Computer Science.

2010 Mobile Industry Predictions Survey January 3, 2010

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carnival of Mobilists,Carriers,CTIA,Devices,Enterprise Mobility,European Wireless Market,Federal,Gaming,General,India,Indian Wireless Market,Infrastructure,Intellectual Property,International Trade,IP,IP Strategy,Japan Wireless Market,Location Based Services,M&A,Mergers and Acquisitions,Messaging,Microsoft Mobile,Middleware,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile Traffic,Mobile TV,Mobile Usability,Mobile Users,Mobile Wallet,Music Player,MVNO,Networks,Partnership,Patent Strategies,Patent Strategy,Patents,Privacy,Smart Phones,Speaking Engagements,Speech Recognition,Storage,Strategy,Uncategorized,Unified Messaging,US Wireless Market,Usability,Wi-Fi,WiMax,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 6 comments

2010 Mobile Industry Predictions Survey


Mobile Predictions Survey (pdf)

Mobile Predictions Survey (ppt)

First things first. From all of us at Chetan Sharma Consulting, we wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010. Thanks to all who participated in our 2010 Mobile Predictions Annual Survey. We have found it is the best way to think about the trends coming our way.

Before we dive into the survey results, let’s do a quick wrap-up of the year that was. Well, since we  just completed one heck of a mobile decade, let’s do a quick jog down the memory lane.

The Last Decade: 2000-2009

Each new decade brings its own consumer and technology trends. During the 2000s mobile cemented its place in the global society fabric, the use of mobility became addictive and pervasive, to be without mobile seemed a curse and innovation blossomed and took user expectations to new heights.


From a pure statistical point of view, the global mobile subscription penetration grew from 12% in 2000 to approximately 68% in 2009 – phenomenal by any measure. The overall revenues grew over 400%, the data revenue grew 32,600% and the total subscriptions grew 563%. NTT DoCoMo paved the way with the i-mode launch in 1999 and they were the operator to emulate throughout the last decade, leading every single year in data revenues, in new application and service revenue sources, and in innovation and risk taking. They tried to export the success to other regions with little reward but DoCoMo clearly led the industry in taking mobile devices where they have never gone before.

China and India were late to the party but during the second half of the decade caught up with the western world and eventually surpassed all nations becoming number one and two nations by subscriptions respectively. In 2006, China Mobile became the most valuable operator passing Vodafone.

Mobile devices went significant transformation as well. From the early Bluetooth, camera, and music phones to the iPhones, the Storms, and the Androids, the industry was transformed by the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007. While Bluetooth, sleek designs, camera phone defined the first half of the decade, the second half was all about the applications and the mobile web. While Nokia dominated the entire decade in terms of the sales and profits, having missed the touch revolution, it leaves the decade a bit battered and a bit behind playing catch-up to the newcomers who profoundly disturbed the status quo.


Razr carried Motorola through 2006 when its global share peaked but was left to reinvent itself during the second half. It seems to have redeemed itself with the successful launch of Droid and upcoming Android devices. While many in the industry predicted RIM’s demise, the company has only gotten stronger and is looking good for the 2010s. The emergence of Samsung and LG as strong players in the mobile ecosystem was also a big story of the decade with Samsung increasing its share by 380% and LG by 575% becoming the number 2 and 3 players respectively.

While Microsoft’s Windows Mobile had an early start and the enterprise market share, it lost its way through several missteps and is on dialysis as we enter the new decade. One shouldn’t count WM out though but there is a lot of work to be done before it can capture the imagination of the ecosystem which has been sequestered away by iPhone and Android.

While many new application areas were introduced during 2000s, none was able to displace SMS as the leading app category by usage and revenues. However, it’s relative share has started to come down especially in North America and Western Europe.

As data usage grew, so did the data traffic bringing many data networks to their knees. We expect the data traffic consumption to only accelerate. Many people are underestimating the growth rates (as they did previously) and the strain the increase in consumption will put on the unprepared networks. Projector phones will take media  consumption to a new level. Data management is going to be big business in the 2010s.

Overall, the mobile industry became a trillion dollar industry in 2008 and the data revenues are increasing in almost all regions. Voice is being commoditized at fast pace and that has put the traditional economics and ecosystem wealth distribution in topsy-turvy.


The US market also experienced tremendous growth with mobile data service revenues climbing 21,327% and becoming a mainstay in the mobile economy. In 2008 it crossed Japan as the most valuable mobile data market. US was late in adopting SMS but caught fire once American Idol started using it and even played a good role in the 2008 Presidential election in showcasing the power of mobile. Verizon started the decade being the number one operator and after trading places with Cingular and ATT grabbed the title back in 2009 (after the Alltel acquisition) to become the most dominant carrier in North America. Many smaller players competed by being innovative with Cincinnati Bell launching the fist UMA device, Sprint the first mobile eReader, and TMO launched the hotspot business which has now become an essential component of an operator strategy going forward.

Mobile is also replacing landline at a much faster pace than expected and within the first half of the new decade, we will have majority of the users using mobile vs. landline. Just like the last decade, this one starts with a new standard deployment of LTE that will keep operators and vendors busy throughout the decade. However, a lot of the developing markets will still be deploying 3G during the first half of the decade.

Infrastructure providers suffered the most in the decade bookended by the two recessions. Consolidation of giants (Alcatel Lucent, Nokia Siemens), bankruptcies of the famous (Nortel), and uprising of the upstarts (Huawei) pretty much defined the decade for the segment. Ericsson and Huawei enter the new decade from a strong position and looking to dominate the global markets.

The last decade was also marked by some prominent IP battles such as RIM vs. NTP, Qualcomm vs. Broadcom, Sony Ericsson vs. Samsung, Upaid vs. Satyam etc. (disclaimer: we worked on some of these cases and testified as an expert)

Here is our “subjective” list of movers and shakers of the last decade



Operator of the Decade


DCM led the way in almost all new category of apps and services. Its data service revenue was highest in each of the last 10 years

DCM will continue to lead along with KDDI and SKT. However, it might be the carriers with tremendous scale who will have the calling cards in the new decade. Watch for China Mobile, Vodafone/Verizon, Telefonica, Orange, Bharti, Unicom, Singtel

OEM of the Decade


Nokia dominated in sales and revenues in each of the 10 years and while the last couple of years took some shine off its glorious past, the company nevertheless came out ahead

RIM, Apple, Nokia, Samsung

Smartphone OEM of the Decade


Smartphones as we know them were introduced by RIM but Apple defined the category and the subsequent ecosystem

This space will be very competitive with Apple still the gold standard to beat

Infrastructure Provider of the Decade


Its prime rivals struggled to stay afloat while Ericsson grabbed most of the revenues from infrastructure contracts and is very well positioned for the next decade

Ericsson is joined by Huawei as the two top infrastructure provider with Huawei giving tough competition for LTE contracts. ZTE and other Chinese infrastructure providers will also replace some of the incumbents

Nation that led in mobile data


This is a no brainer. Japan led with Korea a close second. Finland, UK also impressed

US, China, and India are well positioned to make an impression but most likely during the second half. Japan will still be a major player

Device of the decade

iPhone followed by Razr

iPhone impressed with form and function while Razr with its global sales making it a top selling device of all times

The field might get more crowded as all OEMs focusing on the smartphone category. However, OEMs who also focus on the 90% of the market w/o smartphones might win the top prize

The year 2009

Apple continued to dominate the headlines for the third straight year – whether it was the launch of 3GS or the upcoming introduction of the fabled tablet. Google too kept the ecosystem active. It has executed on its mobile strategy with brilliant acumen though causing significant consternation amongst its partners who it needs to be successful. It has been often misunderstood by competitors, regulators, and partners. Often, they have focused on Google’s tactics vs. its strategy. Look for these two players to be very aggressive as they try to fight for the mantle and the mindshare.

While Nokia leads the OEM space by a good distance, its momentum in the smartphone space left a lot of question marks. Motorola made a credible comeback with Cliq and Droid. Samsung and LG continued to innovate and expanded on their share of shipments and revenues.

India outpaced China in net-adds and crossed 500M though it is still quite behind China’s 750M. The M&A and the consolidation process became active in Asia with several of the big regional operators looking to flex muscles in the international markets. After several delays, China started deploying 3G while India again fumbled and postponed its 3G auction.

US mobile data market continued its pace in 2009 with each of the four quarters exceeding $10B in data service revenues. The gap between the top two operators and the rest grew to be the biggest in the decade and the industry weathered the recession with ease. There was a clear shift towards prepaid especially for Sprint, T-Mobile, and the tier 2/3 operators.

2009 was also defined by significant activity on the application front. With Facebook eclipsing 100M subscribers and Appstore exceeding 2.5B downloads, sky is the limit.

The year also saw an unprecedented growth in mobile data consumption. As we had predicted, for some of the networks, the growth proved to be a double-edged sword. Many in the industry are banking on LTE to help relieve the pain but will be surprised that depending solely on the upgrade strategy will not be enough. Declaring spectrum as a looming crisis, FCC also started tinkering with the mobile industry and the broadband plan.

Japan exceeded 90% in 3G penetration while US subscriptions ventured into the 90% territory. Most of western Europe is way past 130%.

All in all, a terrific year considering that we went through one of the worst recessions in a generation. As we bid goodbye to the last decade, Nexus One and iTablet only serve to whet our appetite of what’s to come.

On a personal note, we started our consulting practice this last decade as we were coming out of the bubble recession and have been fortunate to work with some of the brightest brains and companies in the global ecosystem. We also had a chance to work on some key initiatives that impacted the ecosystem in profound ways. Many thanks to our clients, colleagues, friends, and readers. We will be involved with many new initiatives over the next decade and are looking forward to the conversations through the research notes, books, speeches, panels, whitepapers, blog posts, facebook and twitter feeds, and more.

Thanks and Happy New Year. May the upcoming decade leave you happier, healthier, and more successful than the previous one.

As we eluded to earlier, 2010 will be a pretty eventful year from several perspectives: business models, user experience and expectations, ecosystem posturing, disruption, and friction. How are things going to shape up? What will be hot and what will fade into oblivion? How will competition shape up the new sub-segments?

We put some of the questions to our colleagues in the industry. We were able to glean some valuable insights from their choices and comments. This survey is different from some of the others in the sense that it includes industry movers and shakers participation. Executives and insiders (n=150) from leading mobile companies across the value chain and around the world opined to help us see what 2010 might bring.

11 names were randomly drawn for 3 special prizes. The winners are:

  1. Claire Boonstra, Cofounder, Layar- INQMobile 3G Chat device

  2. Michael Libes, CTO, GroundTruth – Open Mobile Book

  3. Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile, Facebook – Open Mobile Book

  4. Subba Rao, CEO, TataDoCoMo – Open Mobile Book

  5. Saumil Gandhi, Product Manager, Microsoft – Open Mobile Book

  6. Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Connected Planet – Open Mobile Book

  7. Mike Vanderwoude, VP & GM, Cincinnati Bell Wireless – 2010 Mobile Almanac

  8. Pinney Colton, VP, GfK – 2010 Mobile Almanac

  9. Tim Chang, Principal, Norwest Ventures – 2010 Mobile Almanac

  10. Laura Marriott, President – 2010 Mobile Almanac

  11. Asha Vellaikal, Director, Orange – 2010 Mobile Almanac

Thanks to INQMobile and my friend Ajit Jaokar for contributing the prize gifts.

Despite conventional wisdom, what will not happen in 2010?

There were many. Sampling – Verizon iPhone, Microsoft Phone, Sprint will not be bought, Femtocells won’t gain traction, RCS will not happen, Google will not enter handset market directly, iPhone won’t lose steam, Android won’t bring coherence, NFC won’t take off, WiMAX won’t disappear, Nokia won’t bounce back, Palm won’t die, “Year of Mobile” noise won’t subside, carriers won’t be delegated as dumb-pipes.

It is hard to cover the mobile industry in 20 questions. As pointed out by our panelists, there are a number of other issues and opportunities that will help shape our ecosystem – monetization of social networks, augmented reality, the fight for mobile advertising dollars, continued impact of globalization, security and privacy, NFC, IMS, VoIP, enterprise apps beyond email, battery improvements, new interaction modalities, health risks of RF radiation, Mobile 3.0, LTE, single purpose devices, 3G in India, Bada, app vs web, developer turmoil, featurephones, smart grids, M2M, Chrome, etc.

However, be rest assured, we will be tracking these and much more throughout the year and sharing them through various channels.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed. We will be calling on you again next year. We are clearly living in "interesting times" with never a dull moment in our dynamic industry. It has been a terrific year for us here at Chetan Sharma Consulting and we are looking forward to the next decade and seeing many of you along the way.

We hope you enjoyed gaining from the collective wisdom. Your feedback is always welcome.

Be well, Do Cool Work, Stay in touch.


With warm wishes,

Chetan Sharma

Disclaimer: Some of the companies mentioned in this note are our clients.

Now onto the 2010 Mobile Industry Predictions Survey Results

The panel comprised of movers and shakers from around the world

survey2_10 survey1_10

What will be the biggest stories of 2010?


Jan seems to be the Google Phone vs. Apple Tablet matchup. Our panel though voted for the continued growth in mobile data as the top story.

Have we recovered from the recession? (Please select one)


Majority thought we are out of it though some might still feel the pinch

Who will be the most open player in the mobile ecosystem in 2010? (Please select one)


Google has done a great job at maintaining its image as THE open leader

Will Android handset sales exceed iPhone’s in 2010? (Please select one)


Despite Androids coming in droves, iPhone will still be the king of the hill

When will we see tiered pricing plans for smartphones in the US from tier 1 operators? (Please select one)


There are indications that this might happen sooner rather than later

What will happen to the mobile prepaid subscriber base in the US? (Please select one)


Prepaid made a strong comeback in 2009 and a good majority thought that the trend is likely to continue

By how much will the mobile advertising ad-spend increase in 2010? (Please select one)


Mobile Advertising was the only advertising segment with positive growth last year so it is no surprise that folks expect it to more than double this year

What will be the impact of the FCC’s national broadband plan on the mobile industry in 2010? (Please select one)


Not much is expected from the various rulings that might come this year with most expecting the courts to have the final word.

Who will be the mobile comeback story of 2010?


Having bet its future on Android, Motorola was voted as the comeback kid of 2010

What will be the impact of Google Phone?


It’s pretty clear, Google and Apple are duking it out for the developer mindshare. Google wins in either case.

Which areas will feel the most impact from FCC?


Net neutrality is the area where they will have the most impact

Which solutions will gain the most traction for managing mobile data broadband consumption?


While only a holistic approach can provide complete relief, tiered mobile data pricing might have the most impact

When will the carrier-branded appstores lose steam? (Please select one)


Most expect carrier-branded appstores to be a thing of the past in 2010

What will help mobile cloud computing gain traction in 2010?


Mobile cloud computing is gaining steam and the reason is storage and media

What will be the most successful non-mobile-phone category in 2010? (Please select one)


Netbooks seem to be the strongest category followed by eReaders, Tablet, and M2M

What will be the breakthrough category in mobile in 2010? (Please select one)


Mobile Advertising and Mobile Payments share the top honors

By the end of 2010, which will have more subscribers? (Please select one)


LTE might have the momentum but WiMAX has the subscribers

How will Netbooks do through the operator channel? (Please select one)


No major impact from the operator channel

Which standards will gain traction?


No major impact from the standards

What mode of mobile payments will get any traction in North America and Western Europe in 2010?


The category will expand in different ways with more items being charged on the operator bill

Chetan Sharma Consulting in the news in 2009 January 1, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

Happy New Year y’all. Hope you had a terrific celebration as we venture into the new decade. Here are some of the articles and news items we contributed to in 2009. Thanks to all who reached out. Here’s to a terrific 2010.


AdAge – Can Google Sell — and Market — a Smartphone?

MobileHealthNews – The 15 wireless health VC deals of 2009

RCRWireless – The untapped mobile data opportunity

BusinessWeek – Managing the Wireless Data Deluge

Yahoo Tech Blog – Surprise! AT&T wins in 3G mega test

Christian Computing Magazine – What is 4G?

MediaPost – Mobile Phone Rebound in 2010

Telephony Online – Mobile data set to explode

NY Times – AT&T takes the blame, even for iPhone’s fault

NY Times – AT&T to Urge Customers to Use Less Wireless Data

BusinessWeek – AT&T Price Moves May Backfire

Yahoo Tech Blog – No matter the carrier, US 3G service is nothing to shout about

Moconews – The Sorry State of 3G In the US

Telephony Online – Open to alternatives

Telephony Online – Breaking down the walled garden

Moconews – Mobile Broadband is causing problems on all sides of the equation

GigaOM – Clash of the titans in the mobile ecosystem


AdAge – Verizon Wins Round 1 in Legal Spat with AT&T

Mediapost – Judge Sees No Evidence

Globe and Mail – Convergence at last

IBM – Tough Times Call for Superior Customer Care

Reuters – Demand for fast networks forces telcos to team up

GigaOM – With Wireless Data, Smaller Carriers Must Mind the Gap

Telephony Online – Carriers must be open to compete

FierceMobileContent – US mobile data revenues grow to $11.3B in Q3

Mediapost – Madison Avenue Backs Google-Admob Deal

RCRWireless – Solutions for the Broadband World

Telecom Paper – US mobile data market grows 27% in Q3

ReutersLes opérateurs télécoms forcés de s’allier pour suivre le rythme


AdAge – Could the Droid Be the Device That Finally Dethrones the iPhone?

SNS – FireGlobal – West Coast CTO Challenge

Xconomy – Highlights from FiReGlobal

TelecomsEurope – Getting it right on mobile broadband

RCRWireless – Defining Mobile Broadband

Mobile Marketer – Mobile CPM measurement standards are essential


Fiercewireless – Mobile advertising measurements still lack standardization

GigaOM – US leading the Global Mobile Data Boom

GigaOM – Mobile Advertising Metrics: What matters most?

Moconews – Full speed ahead as US carriers invest billions, is it too much?

AdAge – Mobile Video Gets Ready for the Masses

MIT Technology Review – The New Faces of Android

NewTeeVee – With MediaFLO disappointing, Qualcomm wants to become a Mobile CDN

GigaOM – Don’t Neglect the Network, The Ultraband Panel

NY Times – Customers angered as iPhones overload AT&T

RCR Wireless – The RCR Ecosystem – An Overview

IT Business Edge – The Death of the Early Adopter

GigaOM – New Metrics for Mobile Ad Networks

GigaOM – How the iPhone is driving a wireless bandwidth boom


Fortune – Bandwidth hogs – iPhone and other smartphones

Telecompaper – US mobile data market grows over 30% in Q2

Mediapost – Prepaid: Too much of a good thing?

GigaOM – State of the US Wireless Market Q2 2008

IT Business Edge – Data Helps Wireless Carriers Work Through the Recession

FierceBroadbandWireless – Report: 3G penetration about 40% in 2Q

FierceMobileContent – US mobile data service revenues jump to $10.6B in Q2

IT Business Edge – Good Times Ahead for Telecom Vendors

Mercury News – FCC probes Apple’s rejection of Google Voice for iPhone

IT Business Edge – Cellular Data Explodes, Even in Bad Economy

Wireless and Mobile News – The worst is over says Chetan Sharma


WSJ – Big Phone Companies Are Unlikely US Antitrust Target

GigaOM – Mobile Broadband Will Trigger Global Innovation

BusinessWeek – The Wireless Data Boom Will Cost the Carriers

Xchange – Unwired

Gestion – Del compromiso a la compra (in Spanish)

BusinessWeek – AT&T’s Designs for the Wireless Market

Mediapost – IAB Unveils Mobile Media Buying Guide

Xconomy – A Yotta Insights on Making Money in Mobile

Mediapost – AT&T Wants Devices To Expand Use of Wireless Networks


Wireless Week – Tough Times Call for Superior Customer Care

BusinessWeek – The iPhone’s Wary New Rivals

GigaOM – How iPhone 3.0 Will Impact Wireless Networks

AdAge – Where to Find the Marketer Opportunities in the new iPhone

NY Times – Cellphone Locator System Needs No Satellite

Washington Post – Skyhook Wireless Hopes to Maintain Early Lead in Location Finding

TMCnet – Mobile ARPU Drops Globally, Traffic Grows

EConsultancy – Why ATT cares more about new iPhone users than existing ones


Business Week – GigaOM to Begin Subscription Service

GigaOM – Meet GigaOM Pro, Our Subscription-Only Research Service

TMCnet – AT&T Considers Cheaper iPhone Service, Device

Poynter – Summer 2009 Could Be Right Time to Expand Mobile News Services

Telephony – Verizon Wireless not messing with prepaid

Boston Globe – Surreptitious success

Business Week – Cheaper iPhone Plans from AT&T?

TMCnet – Smartphones Contribute to Mobile Ad Growth

BizReport – US mobile revenue tops $10 million

NY Times – US Pulls Ahead in Mobile Data Revenue

BusinessWeek – Wireless Industry: Engaged in Double Counting?

Washington Post – US Wireless Data Revenues Hit $10 Billion For the First Time Ever

TMCnet – US Mobile Data Services Revenues Top $10 Billion in Q1

Mediapost – Mobile Marketing Company Velti Acquires Ad Infuse

Telappliant VoIP News – US mobile broadband market grew by 24% in 2008

GigaOM – The iPhone Will Not Destroy the Wireless Business

FierceMobileContent – US mobile data revenues cross $10 billion milestone

Mediapost – US Mobile Data Revenue Hits $10 Billion in Q1

TelephonyOnline – Is prepaid growth an illusion?

Telephony – Verizon, Google duke it out for employees

Moconews – Dying or Thriving? The Debate Over CDMA


MIT Technology Review – A New Breed of Netbook?

Advertising Age – Who Needs the iPhone? Verizon beats AT&T in new customers

BusinessWeek – Wireless Carriers: Your New PC Retailer?

MIT Technology Review – Gmail Sidesteps the App Store

WIRED – Smartphone War Heats Up, Google Phones Still MIA

WIRED – Concept Phones go on Display at Wireless Trade Show

Washington Post – Is the Rush to Develop iPhone Apps Creating A Bubble?

FierceDeveloper – Gmail upgrade heralds leap mobile web apps


BusinessWeek – Prepaid Takes Off

NYTimes – Apple Shows Off Next Version of iPhone Software

Mercury News – Your phone, your life: New apps change how you use mobile devices

CNNMoney – US Wireless Data Revenues on the Brink

GigaOM – After Solid 2008, US Wireless Data Revenues may Slow

FierceMobileContent – US mobile data revenues grow to $34B in 2008

MediaPost – US Mobile Data Grew 39% in 2008

TelecomAsia – iPhone driving mobile data boom, says survey

TMCnet – Mobile Data Up, Data Cards Slipping a Bit


Advertising Age – Wireless-Phone Companies Fight Rising Churn Rates

GigaOM – With Latitude, Google Fires Another Shot at the Mobile Operators

Businessweek – Sprint Nextel: The Canary in Wireless’s Coal Mine?


MobileMarketer – Economy makes business case for mobile advertising more compelling

iMEDIA – Mobile ad spend may fall flat in 2009

MobileMarketingToday – Chetan Sharma Consulting Survey: Respondents See Glass Half Full for Mobile Advertising in 2009