Mobile Breakfast Series Event Roundup

Mobile Breakfast Series Event Roundup

Wednesday Morning we hosted the third edition (sold out) of the Mobile Breakfast Series and were grateful for the time and insights from two outstanding speakers. Thanks to our sponsors for the support: Motricity, Openwave, WDSGlobal, and Clearwire

First up was Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman and current co-chair of the communications practice and partner at the leading law firm of Patton Boggs in Washington DC.

Second speaker was Rob Glaser, Chairman and Founder, Real Networks. This was his first public appearance since he stepped down as CEO of Real Networks.

Kevin talked about the National Broadband Plan that is going to be released this coming tuesday and Rob opined on the opportunities in mobile. I had the good fortune of asking and moderating the Q&A after the initial presentation.

Summary of his comments:

  • In response to my question if we are becoming too dependent on the spectrum as a way to alleviate data congestion issues, he said that spectrum should be viewed as a renewable resource, however, we should look for expanding fiber as close to end point as possible, look for alternate ways to offload traffic (something I agree with completely)
  • Technology advancements are allowing for more efficient use of the spectrum
  • Current carriers have about 450 Mhz, broadband plan seeks to double the spectrum by adding another 500 Mhz though it will be hard to get given the constraints
  • Broadcasters can make some spectrum available for auction and share the proceeds
  • We are still early in the Open Access process but full impact is yet to be felt
  • Beyond the carriers and airwaves, the regulatory authority of the FCC is limited as we go deeper into the ecosystem
  • Wireline infrastructure shouldn’t be looked as a separate entity. Since there will be a lot of wireless traffic that will go over wireline, it is part of the same infrastructure
  • USF could be used to expand the broadband services to the masses

Rob’s talk (embedded below) was about the opportunities created by the introduction of smartphone/superphones over the next 34 years.

Opportunities are:

  • •“Digital Persistence”
  • •Universal Access across Devices
  • •Making Discovery Easy
  • •Empowering Social Expression and Engagement
  • •Leveraging The Global Nature of These Trends

and of course challenges are:

  • •Delivering solutions that scale with variable bandwidth and device capabilities
  • •Creating commercial models across an extremely complex value chain
  • •Vertical versus horizontal industry structure
  • •Media industry adaption of new business models
  • •Educating users on privacy and social implications

In summary,

  • The Next Mobile Revolution is both a huge opportunity and a massively disruptive force
    • §It will ultimately be bigger than the PC or Web 1.0 or 2.0 revolutions
  • Cross-industry collaboration, while complex, is essential
    • §“We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately”

After the intense 30 minute talk that the sold out crowd tried to absorb as much as possible, I asked him what Real would do if he were starting today. And there was a similar question from Andy Kleitsch from Billing Revolution about advise to startups. Here is some of what he had to say (courtesy: Techflash)

On the question of vertical vs. horizontal integration (question from Tricia Duryee of Moconews), he had this to say (courtsey: Techflash)

His presentation below:

We also announced the June 10th event that will all about Mobile Startups. Registration is open. It should be a great discussion with startup CEOs.

Also, announced the Sept 8th event which is of the long-form (day long) – Mobile Future Forward. Great speakers and useful discussion. Stay tuned for more details. We are working feverishly on the details.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors who believe in the vision behind the MFF event – Real Networks and Millennial Media. Your support is much appreciated.


Finally, a personal thanks to all those of you who helped out. You know who you are. We are a pretty lean operation and need assistance from our friends to make every event successful and useful to the mobile community.

Overall, we had as much fun hosting the event as we had in preparing for it. Please let us know your feedback.

Some pictures from the event:

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Some additional coverage of the event by some of the most outstanding reporters in the industry – Seattle Times, Techflash, Moconews, GigaOM, and PC World. Thanks.