Mobile Future Forward 2010 Summit Summary September 20, 2010Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, BRIC, Carriers, Enterprise Mobility, European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, Japan Wireless Market, Location Based Services, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Event, Mobile Future, Mobile Future Forward, Mobile Gaming, Mobile Search, Mobile Traffic, Mobile Wallet, Networks, Partnership, Patents, Privacy, Smart Phones, Speaking Engagements, Student Paper Contest, US Wireless Market, Wi-Fi, WiMax, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , trackback
In proud partnership with
Amdocs, Millennial Media, Real Networks, ZTE, Clearwire, Ericsson, Openmarket, Bango, Intel, Openwave, Wavefront, and Department of Commerce
Earlier this month, Chetan Sharma Consulting hosted its first mobile thought leadership executive summit – Mobile Future Forward. The sold-out event attracted leaders from the global mobile industry across the ecosystem to discuss and debate the future of mobile. This note summarizes the various discussions from the summit.
Some of the key themes discussed by the speakers and panelists were:
1. The Mobile Ecosystem is becoming more complex and competitive by the day
2. Broadband is exploding around the globe, Nation’s competitiveness and prosperity is being defined by the quality and depth of Broadband
3. Mobile Device is becoming central to our existence
4. Understand the user, generational usage patterns, geographical differences and customs
5. Communication modes are evolving and morphing rapidly
6. Emerging Devices are taking the lion of share of growth in some western markets
7. Given the devices and networks, content, media, services are moving to the cloud
8. New experiences are being introduced that will impact monetization and interaction with computing and technology
9. World is becoming flatter by the day
10. Mobile as a platform is booming and several industry verticals are exploding
11. Context and Analytics are key currency for tomorrow
12. There is significant reallocation of revenues underway
13. The fight for developer mind share is getting intense
As technologists, we get too enamored with the technical details and specs but what’s most important is how can technologies be applied to make lives of every day consumers better. If a new solution or a service only benefits or thrills a few, it is destined to miss the mass market. No one understands the mass market better than Procter & Gamble, and no company in the world touches more consumers with more products than Procter & Gamble (with over 40-50 billion items per year). Technology plays a central role in how P&G thinks about engaging consumers. Last year, I had the privilege of spending some time with Steve David, our first keynote speaker. His understanding of the interplay between technology and consumer interaction and behavior is very deep and his enthusiasm for using technology to change the world infectious. Steve spent over 30 years at P&G , the final assignment as P&G’s CIO responsible for their Internet Strategy.
Steve laid out the case for Advocacy being the new measure of marketing. It has a lasting impact on the brand, the sales, and the relationship with the consumer. Companies who have a better understanding of the customer via sophisticated analytics and can quickly take the solutions and products that consumer want and need gain long-term competitive advantage. Insights from the market must be processed in real-time that can empower decision making at every level of the company. And mobile is central to this strategic shift. Mobile is being used to attack the counterfeit problem worldwide, in formulating personal recommendations as trust in brands erodes, in collecting analytics, and engaging interactions with products and services using NFC, etc. Steve ended with the old Chinese proverb, “When the wind changes direction, there are those who build walls and there are others who build wind mills.” What are you going to build?
Fred Devereux, President, AT&T West in his address on “The Next Big Thing” honed in on the emerging connected devices ecosystem and how AT&T is retooling itself to take advantage of the boom. The AT&T Emerging Devices organization is setup to behave and operate like a startup with hundreds of devices being approved in a short amount of time. The new generation of connected devices range from eReaders, PNDs, Telematics, Cameras, Camcorders, Picture Frames, Tablets, Tracking Devices, Gaming Devices, and Smart Meters. While the ARPU of these connection is low, the margins are high due to negligible overhead in operations, sales, and marketing. The importance of this category is evident from the research data we reported in our last quarterly report which indicated that there are more connected devices being added than postpaid net-adds and operators are starting to list them as separate line items in their financial statements. Fred also discussed AT&T’s plans to deploy LTE in 2011-.
Dr. Genevieve Bell, Fellow at Intel is one of the most fascinating anthropologists out there with an acute sense of technology evolution and how humans react and adapt to changes around them and how technology needs to adapt to humans and their needs in different habitats. She had some interesting stats from her research e.g. the household sizes vary significantly by countries – India has only 5% of the households as single-person households while France and Germany have over one third households as single-person. Boomers will represent more than half of the population of China, Japan, and EU by 2012. These demographic shifts have significant impact on how technology is used and how media is consumed. The keynote was filled with priceless anecdotes and research items that informed and gave the technologists something to think about and that the technologists are not the proxy for rest of the population. Her book “Telling Techno-Cultural Tales” is being published by MIT Press and is coming out next year. So, be on the lookout for that.
Mobile Advertising is in the news lately in the US. About 11 years ago, a young man named Takayuki Hoshuyama was making waves in the mobile advertising space. In 1999, he helped found D2Communications - a successful joint venture between the largest advertising firm in Japan - Dentsu and the largest and one of the most innovative operator on the planet - NTT DoCoMo. He was one of the original members of the Mobile Advertising Team for the i-mode service 11 years ago. In June, he was appointed CEO of D2C. Hoshuyama-san talked about the future of mobile advertising. Japanese mobile ad market is over $1B (though it represents only 1.7% of the overall ad spent) and with the advent of 4G/LTE the opportunities are enormous. Display outscores Search by 3:1 in ad revenues. Mobile is some embedded in Japanese culture that it is just assumed just like my good friend and coauthor Dr. Yasuhisa Nakamura, then CTO of NTT DoCoMo wrote back in 2002 in our book “the wireless infrastructure will become indistinguishable from air i.e. omnipresent”
Hoshuyama-san also talked about the evolving role of the operators in the ecosystem with some of them focused on becoming the cloud service providers and broadcasters.
After the keynotes, we shifted to panel discussions. The first one dealt with the disruptive forces in the ecosystem with Mike Sievert, Chief Commercial Officer, Clearwire, Lixin Cheng, CEO, ZTE USA, and Subba Rao, CEO, Tata DoCoMo – three leaders who are disrupting the status quo. All three agreed that the openness of Android will make it the most dominant OS in the coming years. Lixin talked about how the infrastructure business is becoming a software business with SDR design of technology standards and evolution. He also suggested that we as an ecosystem need to simplify the business models and the consumer purchasing process of bandwidth and connectivity before the connected device revolution takes significant hold. India is the fastest growing market but the ARPU levels are 1/10th of what they are in the US. Given that the market just spent over $100B on the 3G auction, the investment recovery model is unclear and the market is ripe for a big shakeout. Telenor, having lost over half a billion dollars is desperate to get out of the market. The pains of globalization are showing up in other regions as well. Mike mentioned the high average data consumption at Clearwire (currently at 7 GB/mo) – clearly a precursor of what’s to come (our research shows the national average was 230 MB/mo as of Q2 2010). In terms of new technology areas, the panel was interested in products that help with spectrum efficiency, reducing the cost structure, and in improving the battery performance.
As part of the Mobile Future Forward Initiative, we had also worked on two other projects:
· The Mobile Future Forward Book that consisted of thought provoking essays on the future of mobile from the speakers of the summit and
· The global student paper contest that invited the papers form university students from the around the world
It required enormous collaboration with the folks around the globe in a very short amount of time. We are very proud of the outcome.
Mobile Future Forward Book
The second project related to a limited edition book by Chetan Sharma Consulting (published by Futuretext) exclusively for the event. Some of these summit speakers put their insights and ideas on paper that resulted in this book. We are very grateful to the authors (and their respective organizations) who carved out time from their busy schedules to pen some really insightful commentary on how they see the mobile industry evolve both holistically and in the various segments of the ecosystem. While the views are quite diverse and bring together perspectives from different angles, everyone agrees, 2010-2020 will be one heck of a time period for innovation.
The book has the following pieces:
1. The Next 10 Years - 15 Trends That Matter - Chetan Sharma
2. Sustainability in a Mobile World - Stephen David
3. Managing The Mobile Data Explosion - Wim Sweldens
4. Show Me The Money! - Brian Shepherd
5. Mobility Revolutionizing Every Product, Service, and Process - Russ McGuire
6. How Constant Connection Is Changing Our World - Ken Denman
7. 4G: The Next Big Thing - Mike Sievert
8. The Untapped Potential of Mobile Advertising and Marketing - Takayuki Hoshuyama
9. Mobile Operators are at the Center of Mobile Advertising - Krishna Vedati
10. Mobile Challenges - Three Imperatives in the Changing Game - Russ Shaw
11. Interacting With Everyday Things - Amir Mashkoori
12. In The End, It’ll All Go Through “Browse and Buy” - Anil Malhotra
13. The Future of Mobile: 5 Trends That Matter Most - Jay Emmet
14. India’s Mobile Future Forward - Subba Rao
15. Cellphone As The New Computing Platform - Sailesh Chutani
16. What 5 billion Phones Could Mean for Health Literacy - Jon Stross
17. Privacy: From Compliance To Competitive Advantage - Sarla Sharma
18. Managing Growth and Profits in the Yottabyte Era - Chetan Sharma
We will be giving out some copies of the book during our Annual Predictions Survey in Dec, so be on the lookout for that participation request.
Student Paper Contest
Despite, the summer recess, we received an a very positive response from students around the globe. The top six entries went through rigorous scrutiny of our judges:
1. Pankaj Kedia, Head of Mobile Ecosystems, Intel
2. Subba Rao, CEO, Tata DoCoMo
3. Len Barlik, VP, Sprint Nextel
4. Jeff Giard, Director, Clearwire
5. Paul Palmieri, CEO, Millennial Media
6. Matt Oommen, CTO, Sprint Nextel
7. Paul Struthers, Head of Regional Marketing, Amdocs
The top two students were Lun Huang and Smruthi Pariccha and they were invited to join us for the event and receive their prizes.
The final ranking was as follows:
1. UWB Based on Multi-Band MC-CDMA and Magnetic Near-Field –Lun Huang, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, US
2. Ubiquitous Peer Proximity Awareness in Mobile Environments –Smruti Parichha, Dept of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, Riverside, US
As a mobile strategist, I get to see some of the cool technologies before they hit the market. For the demo this year, we selected Microvision’s cool projection technology where you can interact with the projected screen in thin air by waving hands. Yes, you got it. You had to be there to see it. It was shown for the first time to the general public and we are thankful to Selvan Vishwanathan and Andrew Rosen, the two engineers (and their colleagues) behind this exciting emerging technology that will expand the horizons of mobile interactivity and media engagement.
The afternoon sessions started delving into specific topics and details that were touched upon at the high level during the morning sessions. Each of the panels had an absolutely stellar cast who are deeply engaged in defining the mobile ecosystem right now.
Network and Mobile Data Evolution 2010-2015
Wim Sweldens, President - Wireless Division, Alcatel-Lucent,
Neville Ray, Chief Network Officer, T-Mobile,
Bob Azzi, Senior Vice President, Sprint,
Matt Bross, CTO and Vice Chairman, Huawei
Sean Cai, Vice President - Advanced Wireless Technology, ZTE,
Ken Denman, CEO, Openwave (moderator)
There is a big debate about network evolution - how fast does LTE need to come to the market? Will LTE be enough to help with the data tsunami. The consensus was a resounding No but LTE brings in some key capabilities like an all-IP network that enables new capabilities for multimedia applications and services, lowers the per bit cost, and reduces latency for superior user experience. Of course, the RAN is only part of the story, the backhaul needs to get upgraded as well to handle the load. The panel also emphasized simplicity in services without making things burdensome for the consumer with new technology. The other area of concern is of course the spectrum. Will there be ever enough spectrum? The issue is more acute for some operators. Finally, the focus need not to be on the bandwidth or the latency, from a user’s point of view, it is always about the services and things they can do with more bandwidth and lower latency.
Future of Content, Engagement, and Monetization
Louis Gump, Vice President - Mobile, CNN,
Omar Javaid, Vice President, Converged Media, Motorola (moderator),
Paul Palmieri, CEO, Millennial Media,
Rob Glaser, Chairman, Real Networks and Partner, Accel
Superphones and smartphones have changed the landscape for content, engagement and monetization. Superphones are most open and it is reflected in the results, more engagement and higher app usage. Apple/Android have also put US back in the leadership role when it comes to devices. CNN has seen high degree of non duplicated reach and reach is king when it comes to mobile advertising. The ad platforms are going into the next stage of evolution with more multimedia, better monetization opportunities, and higher value for the consumer. For content providers, ads can’t be the only strategy to generate revenue, subscriptions and/or micro transactions need to be part of the equation as well.
The Balance of Privacy and Monetization from Consumer Data
Krishna Vedati, Senior Vice President, AT&T Interactive,
Chris Murphy, Head of Digital Strategy, adidas
Dr. Nitin Shah, CEO, Feeva,
John Giere, Senior Vice President, Openwave,
Jeremy Lockhorn, Vice President - Emerging Media, Razorfish (moderator)
It is a complex issue and our insightful panel talked through the intricacies and the balance of monetizing using consumer data while meeting user’s expectations on privacy. One has to give something of value to the consumer before they trade up. Advertisers like adidas want to move from 1-2-many to 1-2-1 relationship with the consumer that increases the volume and quality of the transactions. The valuable variables to track are location, propensity to buy, past actions, traffic inputs, etc. Discovery and recommendations also become important part of the whole process. Of course, regulators are eager to jump in as well. It will be one of the key issues defining the industry landscape over the next 5 years.
mHealth - The Impact on Society and Global Health
Dr. Sailesh Chutani, CEO, Mobisante (moderator)
Jon Stross, General Manager and VP, Babycenter.com
Tim Wood, Director, Grameen Foundation
Greg Brandenberg, CEO, Columbia Basin Health Association
Dr. Suzanne Clough, Chief Medical Officer, Welldoc
mHealth is one of those areas which has been talked about for a long time and where mobile is starting to have a truly disruptive run at the industry. While the regulations and the dinosaur health care industry have been slow to adapt, there are a number of innovative companies like Welldoc, Babycenter.com, Mobisante, and others who are forcing rethink and change in the status quo. Greg’s CBHA is forced to think differently and has looked to technology to solve their challenges. Serving in the rural areas of WA state, his team has been testing out new solutions such as cell phone based ultrasound system from Mobisante that is 1/10th the cost of what GE sells for. It is much more portable and flexible and works well with the field work force. Tim’s Grameen Foundation is similarly leading the charge in nations like Ghana where mobile has been used to solve real-life health issues. Jon’s Babycenter has been expanding in other regions and increasing revenues at the same time. However, the test results and trials can still take inordinate amount of time (it was 3 years for one of the trials). The opportunity is immense but regulators, healthcare industry, pharma giants, and the rest are starting to come to grips with the role that mobile can play in transforming lives and P&Ls.
Mobile Cloud Computing - At the Tipping Point?
Hank Skorny, Senior Vice President - Media Cloud Computing, Real Networks
Brian Shepherd, President - Mobile Services and Marketing, Amdocs
Marianne Marck, Senior Vice President, BlueNile
Mike Wolf, Vice President - Research, GigaOM (moderator)
Erez Yarkoni, Chief Information Officer, T-Mobile
Cloud is changing IT and cloud is going to change mobile media. It helps take out some of the complexities of media consumption, management, and sharing for the consumers and provides a lower cost structures for the media companies. There are opportunities for operators to provide cloud based services at many levels - storage, media, billing, bandwidth, profile, analytics, network intelligence and so on and so forth. Some are easier to implement while others requires more investment and change in DNA. From a developer’s perspective, cloud based services will be ideal to increase reach but we are not there yet as the capabilities of the browser are not comparable to the native environment on platforms like iOS and Android. Better user experience is essential and developers won’t compromise.
Evolution of Communication and Social Interaction
Mario Queiroz, Vice President - Product Management, Google
David Weiden, General Partner, Khosla Ventures
Robin Schofeld, Principal, Booz&Co (moderator)
Erick Tseng, Head of Mobile, Facebook
Pankaj Kedia, Head of Mobile Ecosystems, Intel
The panel delved into how the communication ecosystems might evolve. While there is discussion about open and closed (too much at times), it is about executing on a strategy that touches the most number of consumers. The closed gardens of Apple is quite dominating and so is the evolving Android ecosystem which is relatively open. At the end of the day, developers are looking to make a buck with the least amount of resources and reach the most of amount of users. Cloud based communications services are about to change the landscape in a big way. Google and Facebook both have had good successes and both suggested that we are just getting started and more innovation is going to come in the form of personalization and social interaction. Operators while ceding some of the communication territory can still have a viable broadband business. As far as social on mobile is concerned, we are still in the early days with lots of opportunities to enhance and engage.
Internet of Things - Emerging Ecosystems
Amir Mashkoori, CEO, Kovio
Danny Bowman, President - Integrated Solutions Group, Sprint
Mark Selby, Vice President - Industry Collaboration, Nokia
Chetan Sharma, President, Chetan Sharma Consulting (moderator)
Abhi Ingle, Vice President - Industry & Mobility Application Solutions, AT&T
Peter Koo, Vice President, Ericsson
The fact that there are more mobile phones than toothbrush brings home the point of the pervasiveness of mobile around the globe. The panel gave several examples of how “connectedness” is spreading across other electronic devices as well e.g. in Netherlands, 30K home care workers are equipped with NFC enabled devices which help interact with the patients (opens the door as well) without the need for paperwork, the records, helps with navigation. Overall result - happier workers, higher efficiency, and reduced carbon emission. The mobility for “connected devices” will try to leverage all RF radios as needed - 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigby, etc. Digital signage is emerging as a new area for consumer interaction and information. Some of the industries are on the verge of significant change - e.g. insurance where car insurance rates are given based on driving habits learned via telemetry vs. the old actuary table based rating systems. NFC is also enabling a lot of commerce opportunities by bringing the online world together with the physical world. However, as the ecosystem evolves, we need to also worry about QoS, security, and reliability concerns that various vertical industries have. Of course, the net-neutrality debate impacts the evolution. There are several scenarios where prioritization of data traffic is essential in emergency situations (ambulance transmission, fire fighting, etc.).
At the Intersection of Gaming, Social, and Commerce
Tim Chang, Partner, NVP (moderator)
Prashant Fuloria, Director - Facebook Credits, Facebook
David Marcus, CEO, Zong
Andrew Lacy, Senior Vice President, Disney Games
Alex Tokman, CEO, Microvision
Micro transactions is the new currency that scales up to billions of dollars in gaming and social networking. Free drives interest and the core 2-5% drive the revenues. If you ask for payment up front, virality component fizzles and the longevity declines. iTunes has been the gold standard for payments, carrier billing is starting to shape up and it will benefit the developers. HTML5+ in theory makes sense and is nice enhancement but the app experience is compelling for users. Discovery continues to be the sore spot and the burning opportunity. Whichever platform and mode of operation helps developers make more money, that’s where the momentum will shift. Today it is the iPhone but rival models are starting to pop up.
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped in making Mobile Future Forward successful especially the sponsors (Amdocs, Millennial Media, Real Networks, ZTE, Clearwire, Ericsson, OpenMarket, Bango, Intel, Openwave, Wavefront, and Department of Commerce), participants, the moderators, and the speakers. Thanks to Caroline Lewko and David Smith for taking good notes. Planning for Mobile Future Forward 2011 is underway. Until then, best wishes and good luck in your pursuits, and we hope to see you next year. Thank You.