Published on March 5, 2009
Barcelona Steeplechase: Key Takeaways from the 2009 Mobile World Congress (MWC) Ronald Gruia Program Leader, Principal Analyst - Emerging Telecoms Frost & Sullivan ICT Practice February 25th 2009
Tapas, Paella, Sangria and NGN Evolution: MWC Roundup Agenda • MWC 2009: A More Somber Edition Shift in Innovation: From Mobile Handsets to Applications • LTE Becoming a Reality • IMS Making a Comeback • Building Out the Ecosystem • Can RCS Solve the Client Conundrum? • Messaging Evolution • Femtocells: Another Hot Topic • Conclusions • 2
Tapas, Paella, Sangria and NGN Evolution: MWC Roundup 3
MWC 2009: A More Somber Edition Fewer folks in attendance: about 50k, down from last year’s 55k • GSMC CEO claims there were more exhibitors compared to 2008 • Hard to assess true impact of the economic crisis to the show, as • companies typically had to secure show floor space 1 year in advance (true test will come next year) Noticeable decrease in discretionary promotional materials: • banners, advertising, booth giveaways, signs, etc. Despite more austere tone, quality of interactions was better: • Contacts were more relevant Attendees were keener on developing business opportunities Less time spent on endless queues outside public washrooms Operators indicated CAPEX is under pressure (except for emerging • markets such as China, India and Africa) and have to invest wisely, as data traffic still outpaces current capacity 4
Shift in Innovation: From Mobile Handsets to Applications Fewer handset launches: except for Nokia (6 new models) and a • limited number of devices introduced by Samsung, LG and HTC, there were not as many new wireless phones (only the W995 from Sony Ericsson and none from Apple, Motorola, Palm or RIM). Not as many Android phones introduced (as previously expected), • but Huawei showcased a prototype, Sony Ericsson expects to release a model later in ’09 and Motorola is expected to introduce some Android devices in Q4 2009; HTC Magic (G2) was shown. Application stores: one of the hottest topics du jour, with launches • from Nokia (Ovi Store) and Microsoft (Windows Marketplace having 20k Windows Mobile applications); RIM expected to follow suit (as early as March 2009) Devices will become smarter: more web run time instead of on • the OS of the phone itself; blending of existing services will become easier (e.g. music store w/ social networking app) 5
LTE Becoming a Reality There were several demonstrations of LTE network infrastructure • equipment, device and applications: Ericsson and Samsung were showcasing both gear and device • Motorola was showing applications • LG demonstrated a data card • Verizon CTO Dick Lynch confirmed the commercial launch of LTE in • 2010 and announced the carrier’s choices for its LTE network: Radio Access Network (RAN): Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent • IMS services / infrastructure: Alcatel-Lucent and NSN • Packet core: Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Starent • Consensus: LTE will probably be initially deployed only in hot spots • instead of big rollouts associated with national coverage LTE based devices are still a work in progress, so that should make • the overall LTE timeline be pushed out a bit more. 6
IMS Making a Comeback IMS: beneficiary of increased LTE activity (among larger SPs such • as Verizon, NTT DoCoMo, TeliaSonera), due to the advent of the 3GPP SAE (System Architecture Evolution), which is the all-IP network behind LTE radio access. SAE is the first mobile core network which is by definition compliant • with the IMS standard A more accelerated pace in LTE/SAE uptake will encourage the • adoption of the IMS architecture Currently, there are over 20 operator trials for LTE: • NTT DoCoMo also planning a 2010 launch of their service • AT&T plans to start deploying its LTE network in 2011 • Positive “trickle-down” effect for IMS: • Verizon included IMS as part of its LTE announcement • NTT-AT (Advanced Technology) joined NGN/IMS Forum • 7
Building Out the Ecosystem However, the advent of LTE does not necessarily guarantee the • adoption of IMS services; in order to achieve this, it is necessary to develop a sound ecosystem involving NEVs, ISVs and operators. WIMS 2.0 (Web 2.0 and IMS) initiative represents a positive step in • that direction: it is a joint effort being undertaken by Telefonica, Alcatel-Lucent and a variety of ISVs (Solaiemes, Unkasoft and Kimia) that blends Web 2.0 capabilities with IMS enablers. During the MWC, the group held a meeting sponsored by Genaker • that also included giants such as Microsoft, Nokia and Telefonica. Innovation will definitely come from smaller players • such as Solaiemes (PoC and video share/video call multi-modal app vendor) Operators such as Telefonica and larger NEVs such • as Alcatel-Lucent will have a key role to play to help foster more innovation 8
Can RCS Solve the Client Conundrum? Without client devices, the IMS core cannot generate much value • Previously, there were not too many IMS client specs, with a few • rare exceptions (e.g. OMA’s PoC IMS client, used at NTT DoCoMo) Rich Communication Suite (RCS): consortium created by the top 5 • handset vendors, operators (France Telecom/Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, AT&T, Telecom Italia - some joined early, others later) and NEVs (Ericsson, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent); GSMA is spearheading the effort now and had a special track devoted to RCS at the MWC. Objectives: revitalize IMS market, drive common spec for new apps • (presence-enabled address book, enhanced messaging, video telephony, gaming, etc.), stimulate interoperability testing Noble goal, but perhaps innovation can be reached via full-featured • browser / web runtimes instead of monolithic handset-native clients In the meantime, ISVs such as CommuniGate Systems will keep on • developing “IMS Ready” clients such as Pronto! (UC client) 9
Messaging Evolution Value is moving towards the software and the endpoints • Advent of newer apps: • Visual VM client (iPhone offshoot) • SpinVox (speech-to-text): hot in emerging markets • SMS (A2P apps) and newer apps for emerging markets (e.g. • SMS money transfer, banking apps) Single Converged Mailbox (for SMS, MMS, VM and e-mails) • Call completion applications, including “push-based” apps (e.g. MMS • push of voice message for non-VM subscribers) Opportunities being sought for targeted advertising (from simple • SMS ad insertion in emerging markets to enhanced banner ads inserted in visual messaging environments on handsets w/ graphical capabilities). Integrated sale opportunities w/ converged billing/OSS. • 10
Femtocells: Another Hot Topic Operators increasingly viewing femtocells as not only indoor • coverage enhancers but also as CPE to deliver services over their 3G/4G networks. MWC had a FemtoZone where many SPs discussed their plans. • AT&T talked about its current trial (involving its own employees) and • plans for a rollout in 5 markets, being eventually followed by national coverage plans. Other operators such as Softbank, Sprint, Telefonica/O2, TIM, T- • Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone are in the process of early femtocell rollouts and/or field trials, w/ ASPs in the $100-$150 range. At the MWC, SPs were unwilling to talk about timetables because of • the intense competitive landscape in each region. We believe that 2009 will be the year of “showcasing the femtocell”, • while more meaningful market deployments will start 2010, as sub- $100 price points begin to materialize. 11
Conclusions 2009: a more realistic and interesting MWC edition • Due to the uncertain times we are facing, most of the • management commentary was more limited on near term trends. As a result, there was more focus on strategic type discussions. • NEVs and SPs still remained bullish and Jeffrey Sachs (Earth • Institute Director and special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon) presented a positive spin, i.e. that the mobile industry could weather the current macroeconomic storm. More awareness of green issues w/ the introduction of the GSMA • Green Mobile Awards; vendors such as Ericsson were showcasing wind and solar-powered base stations. Transition to the NGN will be gradual, but the MWC enabled • attendees to get a sneak preview of how that will unfold. 12
Q & A Session Thank You Ronald F. Gruia Program Leader - Emerging Telecoms, Principal Telecom Analyst firstname.lastname@example.org +1-416-490-0493 Twitter: http://twitter.com/rgruia 13
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For Additional Information Christina Alfaro Brian Cotton, PhD Corporate Communications Vice President ICT ICT Practice (210) 247-3830 (416) 490-0983 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ronald Gruia Program Leader & Principal Analyst, Emerging Telecoms (416) 490-0493 email@example.com 16
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