Friday, February 20, 2009

MWC wrap-up

So that's it for another year [sound of loud sigh reverberates around the room]. The annual mobile industry love-in is over and normal hostilities can be restored.

Overall impression on the show? Well, the word we all agreed on as we stood in line at the airport waiting for our Easyjet flight home was "solid". Sure, overall attendance was down on both the delegate and press side. But the number of meetings held solid, and the quality of the meetings actually seemed higher. If you were relying on stand traffic then you'd have been disappointed, but quite frankly if you're relying on 'drop-bys' it just means you haven't done your pre-event legwork.

There was some big news coming out of the show ... Verizon saying it was full-steam ahead on LTE, only a day after the FT claimed LTE plans were being put on ice by European operators; Telstra announcing (together with Ericsson, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless*) that it's HSPA+ network was capable of 21Mbs and that they are targetting 42Mbs; and of course, the solar-powered low cost handset from ZTE*.

That all said, there was also a sense of deja vu about the show. It felt a little like an industry bracing itself for a storm ahead and realising that now is the time for doing real business, not just hyping a future.

* Sierra Wireless and ZTE are AxiCom clients

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