Now fully back from the whirlwind of Mobile World Congress here are just a few things I thought were particularly noteworthy.
The show dailies were full of news, views and opinions about mobile advertising. Not surprising as mobile device technology actually comes of age as a platform for data services. This, combined with how the big brands are finding it harder to reach key customer segments via traditional media, is increasing the number of mobile advertising trials and services using delivery technologies such as SMS, MMS, Video and mobile TV that can put the brand into the hand – as the pundits say.
Estimates for the mobile advertising market coming out of the show were astounding with a claim that the market is already worth $640bn. Pie in the sky? Well, with 2.7bn mobile devices operating globally, compared to 1.5bn TVs and 1.1 bn internet connected PCs, it seems mobile advertising has a bright future and could take over from traditional forms.
Other much talked about areas included multimedia and the launch of innovative handsets from new players such as Google will continue to increase the use of voice, data and video.
Location based services
Strategic Analytics predicted that global spend on location-based services delivered over the air will reach $6bn by 2011 - which is probably why Nokia paid $8.1 bn for mapping company Navteq in the autumn. At the show, Nokia announced Maps 2.0, its latest mapping and nagivation services as well as its 'context' strategy (moving into value added services. Geotagging was another buzzword from the event (for those who don’t know, it’s when a user takes a picture and its automatically adds geographic coordinates that allows the image to be searched basdd on its location).
Protecting our children
It was great to see the industry joining forces with GSMA to form the Mobile Against Child Sexual Abuse Content. Hutchison 3G, MobileKom Austria, Orange, Telecom Italia are all participating to create significant barriers to the misuse of mobile networks and the services for child sex abuse content.
Social networking goes mobile
Facebook is on a mission to make its site universally accessible, both on mobile devices and through peoples native languages. At the show, Facebook introduced a new platform called Facebook for Mobile Operators, which aims to provide a simple, online, self-service tool so that any operator can add Facebook’s mobile services to their network using the kind of Terms of Service model common on the Internet. Though early days…it’ll be one to watch I suspect.