jump to navigation

Mobile Future Forward: Early Bird Expires Today June 30, 2010

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

Just a quick note that the early bird for Mobile Future Forward – a $500 incentive to register early expires today. The summit is shaping up really nicely. Leaders from every part of the ecosystem are going to join us in an intensive morning to evening discussion on the future of mobile. Be There.

Mobile Apps Discussion on CNBC Powerlunch June 23, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 3 comments


Ilja Laurs, CEO of Getjar appeared on CNBC earlier today, some stats from apps economy study were also shown. good overview.

Mobile Future Forward – Trends & Perspectives June 21, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

So, what are the trends that really matter over the course of this decade. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Mobile ecosystem is getting complex
  2. Network evolution: more capacity, more bandwidth, tremendous usage
  3. New sources of revenue: mobile advertising, commerce, and services
  4. Evolution of content, media, entertainment, and commerce
  5. Evolution of communication
  6. Always on Real-Time Access – mobile cloud computing & instant access to anything
  7. Internet of things: mobile device as a remote of our lives
  8. The world is flat – globalization and competition
  9. Mobile as a platform – let a thousand industries bloom
  10. New Experiences – display, interaction and commerce
  11. Reallocation of revenues – winners and losers are decided in reallocation
  12. Battle for the analytical mind – data, context and intelligence drives everything
  13. Shifts in ecosystem – the ups and downs, and shifts of revenue sand dunes
  14. Nurturing ecosystems – aggregating the developers and partners
  15. Managing the network – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

We discuss these in pictures in our Mobile Future Forward whitepaper.

Mobile Future Forward Paper


iPhone mania continues June 16, 2010

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

Apple announced today that they sold around 600K units ysday what turned out the be the biggest pre-order day in the history of Apple and AT&T. Can you imagine what will happen on the 24th when it goes on sale around the world. We are looking at 2-3 million units sold. While AT&T’s backend had some issues, it clearly demonstrates the appeal of the device and the brand.

Lot of critics ignore Apple’s success. Some say, they are just catching up on features. What people miss is that Apple is not trying to get any specific feature out in the market first, rather is focused on getting it right first. So, it doesn’t matter if visual voice mail or video conferencing have been around for years, can they be made simple enough for people to actually use it on large scale basis.

Companies should learn from what Apple does right rather than get consumed by envy or hate.

As for the complete collapse of the order system, while it is a good problem to have, it is certainly inexcusable. AT&T/Apple should have been ready for it. Or there is more to the story than a mere traffic spike, we just don’t know. In the end, Apple made close to $300M and AT&T probably added 200K new subs and upgraded the rest – not a bad day of work.

Announcing Mobile Future Forward Executive Summit June 14, 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 Event,Mobile Future,Mobile Future Forward,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,Speaking Engagements,Speech Recognition,Strategy,US Wireless Market,Usability,VoIP,Wi-Fi,WiMax,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far


You have seen some hints of the project that we have been working on for sometime. We are proud to announce “Mobile Future Forward” Executive summit to be held in Seattle on Sept 8th, 2010.

Registration is Open Now. Early Bird expires June 30th 2010.

MFF is a gathering of some of the most brilliant minds in the mobile industry. The goal is to look at how mobile is likely to evolve over the course of this decade. We couldn’t have done this without the tremendous support of our excellent sponsors who are paving the way in their respective segments.



The speaker list includes the who’s who of the mobile industry:


Glenn Lurie, President, AT&T

Subba Rao, CEO, TataDoCoMo,

Mike Sievert, Chief Commercial Officer, Clearwire

Louis Gump, VP Mobile, CNN,

Paul Palmieri, Founder and CEO, Millennial Media

Dr. Sailesh Chutani, CEO, Mobisante

Abhi Ingle, VP, AT&T Wireless

Ken Denman, CEO, Openwave

Amir Mashkoori, CEO, Kovio

Stephen David, Former CIO, Proctor & Gamble

Dr. Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow, User Experience, Intel

Hank Skorny, SVP, Real Networks

Jon Stross, VP & GM – Babycenter, Johnson & Johnson

Dr. Suzanne Sysko, Chief Medical Officer, WellDoc

Dr. Boris Nikolic, Sr. Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Krishna Vedati, SVP & GM – Mobile, AT&T Interactive

Christopher Dean, Chief Strategy Officer, Skype

Russ McGuire, VP, Sprint Nextel

Jack Kennedy, EVP, News Corp

David Weiden, General Partner, Khosla Ventures

Anand Chandrasekhar, SVP and GM, Intel

Chamath Palihapitiya, VP Growth/Mobile, Facebook

Rob Glaser, Chairman, Real Networks

Wim Sweldens, President – Wireless Division, Alcatel Lucent

Takayuki Hoshuyama, CEO, D2 Communications

Neville Ray, SVP, T-Mobile

Bob Azzi, SVP—Networks, Sprint Nextel

Mario Queiroz, VP—Android, Google

Matt Bross, Global CTO, Huawei

We will be covering the following topics in detail:

You can read more about what you can expect at the executive summit in the following whitepaper.

Mobile Future Forward Paper

I hope to see you there.

Chetan Sharma

Chief Curator

Mobile Future Forward

Mobile Breakfast Series – Startup Nation Roundup June 11, 2010

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Privacy,Smart Phones,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

With the fourth Mobile Breakfast Series event yesterday, we completed one full year of hosting the popular quarterly event and each one has been sold out. Thanks to the outstanding speakers and an engaged audience, the program has grown since its inception last Sept. Thanks also to our wonderful sponsors – Motricity, OpenMarket, Openwave, WDSGlobal, and Clearwire for supporting the program throughout the year.

Also, thanks to our attendees. Proud of the quality of attendees we are able to attract. Over 250 companies have attended the event over the past one year.


The 4th MBS event was held at Columbia Club in Seattle which offers one of the best views in the country.


Our focus for this event was Startups in the Mobile Industry. We wanted to take a pulse of the innovation, competition, turbulence, opportunities in the mobile ecosystem through the eyes of 8 brilliant CEOs who are focused on different segments of the value chain and different segments and business models.

The startup DNA is quite unique to the US. While great ideas and technologies can come from anywhere, no country celebrates the risk-taking, failures, and successes of startups like the US. The entrepreneurial spirit burns bright and that’s what keeps the pace of innovation in the mobile industry at an all time high. I have witnessed that first hand in working with startup executives from the inception of the idea at the back of a napkin to multi-million dollar exits to shattering of dreams due to changing dynamics or strategic errors or just dumb luck. What’s most fascinating and inspiring is that these guys just get up and keep going. Obviously, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, some folks just can’t take the sensation of a plunge and the unknown. The event was to highlight and celebrate the successes of these startup companies.

The one thing that trips most of the startups is how do you “scale” in terms of transactions, users, or revenues. The startups at MBS have a keen understanding of that. They are ambitious, focused, and disruptive.


298 312


319 311


The participants were:

Mike McSherry – CEO, Swype

Swpe is reinventing how consumers interact with mobile devices. Founded by Cliff Kushler, the inventor of T9 that has ended in billions of devices, the company is looking to repeat the success by getting onto billions of devices over the course of next few years. Quite an astonishing feat if they are able to pull it off. They have had good success with the OEMs who have also become strategic investors. The management team has navigated the waters very well w/o raising any VC money.

Paul Palmieri – CEO Millennial Media

Millennial Media is known for its mobile ad network which is the biggest independent ad network. MM deals with billions of ad impressions across devices and Paul has grown the company from the early days in 2006 by keeping the focus on technology, the team, advertisers, and publishers. They seem to be well positioned to take advantage of the current turbulence in the mobile advertising market. Will have more on it at a later date.

Dr. Sailesh Chutani – CEO Mobisante

Many people don’t realize that “mobile devices” represent a computing platform that can start to do amazing things. Mobisante is trying to take advantage of that by using the platform to provide a cheap ultrasound solution. This can be enormously disruptive and beneficial. Hundreds of people die every day because they don’t get diagnosed properly or on time. With a device like what Mobisante is developing, can you imagine the number of lives saved, the improvement in the quality of life, and the health care cost savings.

Paul Griff – CEO Root Wireless

Root Wireless has a unique value proposition – collecting network and device data to help consumers make informed decisions. “True” network data is really not available to the consumers, Root Wireless is changing that by turning the data on its head and making it useful to the consumers.

Kevin Foreman, CEO, PointInside

Location is red-hot, it has become an integral layer over which all content/transactions reside. While most of location players have justifiably focused on the outdoor position location, indoor location is still a challenge esp. in malls and airports, one has to still rely on kiosks and paper maps. PointInside is try to change that by providing a framework to create an indoor location platform that can be licensed and used to create transaction opportunities While SMS has been around for a generation, in the US, it really took off since the American Idol debuted. But have we done all we can with SMS?

Derek Spratt, CEO, Mobidia

Mobile data network issues have dominated the headlines for the last 18 months. We have discussed the topic in detail in our Yottabyte paper. I was intrigued by Mobidia’s approach to managing congestion, the technology can be used in all forms of network and allows operators to free capacity. Mobidia and Derek demonstrate their resilience as a startup in the infrastructure business which is very capital intensive and the sales cycles are measured in years but once you get cemented into the core, you are good to go. The journey is clearly not for the faint hearted. Derek has been shepherding the turbulent waters well.

Scott Kveton, CEO, Urbanairship

Urbanairship is exploited the push messaging phenomenon on startphones with over 470M notifications to 27M devices and 500K storefront transactions. They are also doing some clever rich media messaging and the model is transaction based so it can scale really well

John Lauer, CEO, Zipwhip

Zipwhip has an interesting application that sends SMS to both the device as well as the desktop so you can txt directly from the desktop. They have already gotten traction with some key carrier customers. There is no reason SMS has to be constrained to the device.

This group of brilliant entrepreneurs was ably supported by Bill Bryant, Managing Partner, DFJ and a well known investor in pacific northwest, Jeff Giard who has been a key supporter for us throughout the year and is Director at Clearwire, and Peter Wilson who has had successful stints at Accenture, Microsoft, and Google and now is on the entrepreneurial road himself.

The first panel was moderated by Olga Kharif, Senior writer at Businessweek who through her incisive questioning gets to the heart of the story. The panel touched on various aspects of the mobile ecosystem. Swype is focused on working the carriers and OEMs while Millennial sees diminished role for the operators. Out of the 10 billion impressions, around 100 million are from ondeck. The role of operators in the US with respect to media and content has slipped away as more smartphones came into the market, something we wrote about it in Mobile Advertising book in 2007. The situation is generally not black or white. There are areas for operators to innovate and be dominant while in others it is just hard to compete due to the changing circumstances and the entry of new players. Root Wireless was surprised by the open approach operators have taken to their offering by participating and collaborating in data analysis that can benefit all in the ecosystem.

One of the areas of exploration was – how do startups survive in the turbulent waters – by adapting as fast as they can to the changing dynamics and by having solid IP and unique value proposition. Swype has been developing the technology since 2001 and has multiple patents. Millennial devised a key server side technology to differentiate. Mobisante while new is tapping into a specific vertical and Root Wireless is trying out a new approach to measurement and performance analysis.

One of the other issue that startups face is that of expansion, which markets should they go after. Kevin mentioned that they are turning down six figure checks to keep the focus on their business – a very hard thing to do as a startup (turning down money that is). Millennial is more focused on the western markets because that’s where the advertising money is. Mobisante is likely to go after the rural market first because the need for their offering is the most in those areas.

On the hot topic of privacy, Paul from Root noted that there is a generational gap. He has been astonished how little the younger demographics care about privacy. They are easily willing to trade value for privacy. In terms of how the ecosystem is shaking up Paul from MM expected RIM and Amazon to come up with some interesting offerings in the coming days.

I hope this gives you a flavor of the event. You can also read Tricia Duryee’s column at moconews.

My thanks to all who attended, esp the speakers.

Our next event is Mobile Future Forward which has a stellar roster of speakers. If the future of mobile keeps you up at night, you wouldn’t want to miss this event. These guys personally are responsible for managing billions of dollars worth of investment and operations and their insights will be valuable. We will have more on that in the near future.


Be sure to check it out and register early as the Early bird expires on June 30th and 30% of the spots are already taken.

The quarterly event will resume in Dec 2010.

Calling all students: Mobile Future Forward 2010 June 8, 2010

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


We are super excited to launch a student paper contest along with our Mobile Future Forward Conference. It is in proud partnership with Intel.


Details below

The Event

Mobile Future Forward is an executive summit attracting some of the most influential minds who are shaping the mobile industry. The experts and visionaries from around the globe will discuss the mobile industry 2-5 years forward, envision what the user experience and use case scenarios look like, discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities in the journey to that vision.

The Contest

The best student paper contest is open to universities and research institutes around the world. Your task is to help us imagine new technologies, new experiences, new applications and services, new use cases, new business models of the mobile future. The paper can be on a specific technical or business subject within the mobile industry from mobile teleportation to fuel cells to a new enterprise collaboration tool and everything in between. The idea is to let your imagination fly without any restrictions and dream of what’s possible in the next 5-10 years. Papers can be about technical solutions to the most pressing problems, about new revenue models, about your vision of how mobile will be used in the future, etc. Paper length: 1000-1500 words.

The Prize

Authors of the top two outstanding papers will get a travel expenses paid trip to attend the conference and mingle with the who’s who of the wireless industry. Winners will also be eligible for more prizes. Please send in your entries by July 15th,2010 to contest@mobilefutureforward.com including a copy of your current student ID. Use of graphics and illustrations is encouraged. A panel of industry experts will vote on the best papers. They will be ranked on originality, ambitiousness, creativity, depth, and clarity of vision. The goal of the contest is to bring out and reward the best thinking from the leaders of tomorrow.

The Judges

Pankaj Kedia, Head of Mobile Ecosystems, Intel
Len Barlik, VP, Sprint Nextel
Jeff Giard, Director, Clearwire
Hank Skorny, SVP, Real Networks
Paul Palmieri, CEO, Millennial Media
Matt Oommen, CTO, Sprint Nextel

For more Info, please contact contest@mobilefutureforward.com

More information about the event at http://www.mobilefutureforward.com

If you work with students or universities, please help us spread the word about the contest. Thanks in advance.

In case you missed … June 4, 2010

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

Stories from May ..

GigaOM – Privacy as Competitive advantage in Mobile

Telecompaper – 3GPP mobile technology sees 81% growth in Americas

Thailand Business News – Thailand’s smartphone market skyrockets with Blackberry sales

IT Business Edge – Verizon shifting to tiered pricing for LTE network

BusinessWeek – Verizon’s 4G Plan Will Try Tiered Pricing

GigaOM – Verizon to Shift Usage Forecasting to Consumers With Tiered LTE

SeattleTimes – Game-changer at Microsoft

BusinessWeek – New Web Services Put Music in the Cloud

4gtrends – New balance of power in Japan as users convert to smartphones

GigaOM – America’s Amazing Rise to 3G Dominance

Businessweek – Billionaire McCaw’s New Mobile Bets on Profitless 4G Clearwire

Infoworld – Google and Facebook are violating your privacy

NYTimes – Cellphones Now Used More for Data Than for Calls

GigaOM – A Modest Proposal on Privacy

TMCNet – Network Data Traffic to Drive M2M Profits

TelecomTV – Softbank becomes first mobile telco to outsell voice with data

Mediapost – Verizon leads in Data Revenues

WirelessWeek – VZW Data Revenues Surpass DoCoMo

GigaOM – AT&T Verizon’s Future Is in Your Fridge

Fiercemobilecontent – US mobile data revenues exceed $12.5B in Q1

Telecompaper – US mobile data market up 22% in US

MobileMarketingWatch – US Mobile Data Exploding

MobileMarketing – iPad a Winner says Chetan Sharma

New Research Paper: Managing Growth and Profits in the Yottabyte Era 2nd Edition June 2, 2010

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,Carnival of Mobilists,Carriers,Devices,European Wireless Market,Federal,Indian Wireless Market,Japan Wireless Market,Location Based Services,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile Traffic,Mobile TV,Mobile Usability,Mobile Users,Patent Strategies,Smart Phones,Speaking Engagements,US Wireless Market,VoIP,Wi-Fi,WiMax,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments



Managing Growth and Profits in the Yottabyte Era

The year 2010 will be remembered for many milestones. One of them clearly will be the significant migration from voice to data services and revenues. In Q1 2010, the number three operator in Japan – Softbank Mobile reported 55% of its service revenues coming from data thus becoming the first major operator to have more revenues from data services than from voice. Over the course of the rest of the year, other operators like NTT DoCoMo will take this data leap as well.

US, the nation with the most mobile data service revenues went past $14 Billion in quarterly mobile data revenues and is expected to go past the $50 Billion mark for the year in 2010. The subscription penetration in the US is well over 94% and the mobile data usage is on the rise.

While the rate of new subscription addition has slowed down, the pace of innovation is going very strong. Just like Japan, other major economies will slowly transition from a voice-centric universe to the one where voice is just another application on the all-IP network. Operators will make significant transition from voice to data, from making calls to getting lost in applications and from voice communications to multimedia communications. Helped by the ever expanding wireless broadband networks, and release of hit devices every week, and the consumer’s insatiable appetite for information and content has brought us to the surge of a data tsunami that will shake the industry to its core.

With everything moving to digital, information repositories across the web are almost doubling every day moving rapidly to the yottabyte (YB) era. The information, the desire and the capability to consume oodles of data is increasing exponentially. As a result the traffic – both wireline and wireless is also increasing at a predictably fast rate.

In 2009, the global yearly mobile data traffic reached a new milestone – 1 Exabyte (EB) or 1 Million Terabytes (TB). In the US, the data traffic is growing so fast that we are likely to exceed the 1 EB barrier in 2010. By 2016-17, the global yearly mobile data traffic is likely to exceed 1 Zettabyte (ZB) or 1000 Exabytes. How does the industry go about managing such growth in a profitable manner when the cost of supporting such traffic will increase exponentially? Will the move to LTE offer some respite?

This paper is the second edition of the “Managing Profits and Growth in the Yottabyte Era” research paper. It discusses the research and analysis done by Chetan Sharma Consulting on the growth of mobile data traffic in over 45 countries (with a detailed look at the US market) and how the ecosystem can apply some strategies to manage growth and profits.

We have built detailed models to estimate the rise of mobile data network traffic and to understand as to how the margin per bit can be maintained. Over the course of the last year, we have worked with several global players in the ecosystem to deploy effective strategies and solutions. This paper also draws from this experience on the ground.

Download Paper

Your feedback is always welcome.


Chetan Sharma

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

Partner Event: PaidContent Mobile 2010

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

Another great event lined up by our partners at PaidContent on Mobile in NY on July 20th.

paidContent Mobile 2010

As friends of Chetan Sharma Consulting, you can use the code CHETANGUEST to avail your discount.

Partner Event: MobileBeat 2010

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

Our partner Venturebeat is putting together another great event in July – MobileBeat 2010 (July 12-13 in San Francisco)

As usual a great line-up of speakers and they are expanding it into a 2 day event. I moderated a panel last year and had a pretty good time listening to the keynotes and panels.

As friends of Chetan Sharma Consulting, you can avail a 15% discount using VB-Chetan as the discount code.

Speaker list here