May 24, 2012

What's Next for Mobile World Congress, and More


MWC By the Numbers

As you may have heard, Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) this year drew a record 67,000 visitors to Barcelona. In addition to the attendees, which came from 205 countries, there were more than 1,500 exhibiting companies that occupied 70,500 net square meters of exhibition and business meeting space.

That’s the good news.

The not so good news – that is, if you enjoy the historical beauty of Barcelona – is that Mobile World Congress this year was so successful that GSMA decided to move it to a larger venue (and one that appears to lack much of the charm of the existing location) starting next year.

The event in recent years (since 2006, we think) has been held at Fira Montjuic, a setting with the beautiful National Palace of Montjuic on one end and a view of a castle on a mountain (Montjuic) on the other end. Lots of charming old buildings, parks, restaurants, and museums are nearby.

Starting in 2013, however, Mobile World Congress will be housed at the Fira Gran Via, which the Barcelona Event Bureau says was created by Japanese architect Toyo Ito and is an example of “sensation modern architecture”. The bureau goes on to say that this “huge” venue is “quite far from the heart of the city, but only 2,5 km from the airport.”

WLAN Sizzles

Wi-Fi and other WLAN technology may seem like old news, but this product space is a dynamic area for new investment in light of the growth of wireless endpoints.

"Sales data for 2011 enterprise networking equipment are in, and the results are very clear: Enterprises are racing to upgrade their infrastructure to support the wave of wireless devices hitting their networks," explains Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research. "While the bulk of expenditures still goes toward wired Ethernet switches, and will for some time to come, the growth is coming from wireless networking gear, up 24 percent in 2011, compared to flat sales for Ethernet switches."Machowinski adds: "With wireless taking up an ever-larger share of the expenditure pie, vendors must have a well-developed wireless strategy to address the evolving requirements of their customers."The global wireless LAN equipment market recently hit a peak, at $893 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. That’s 1 percent up from the previous high, which was set the previous quarter.

Apps Ascend

Mobile applications are booming,.

The number of mobile app downloads is projected to go from 8 billion in 2010 to 21 billion in 2013, according to Crain's. Meanwhile, revenue from mobile app stores worldwide is poised to go from $6.2 billion to nearly $30 billion in the same period.

HTC (News - Alert) Loses Ground

This section of the February issue of Next Gen Mobility quoted tech analyst Jeff Kagan saying that “HTC went from zero to hero in the last two years. Two years ago they were virtually unknown in the U.S. smart phone marketplace. Today they are at the top of the list along with other brand name companies we grew up with.” But, apparently, HTC is not flying quite as high now as it was earlier this year.

As Kagan more recently noted, HTC profits have plummeted a whopping 70 percent as it struggles to compete with the Apple iPhone and Samsung, the No. 1 Google (News - Alert) Android device provider.

“HTC was an early leader in the smart phone race over recent years, but they have suddenly lost that edge over the last year,” Kagan now says. “Now they are scrambling to stop the loss and catch up with competitors.

“It's amazing how rapidly this market changes,” he adds. “They quickly grew to lead the fast growing smart phone sector. Now they are scrambling to stop the fall.”


Huawei (News - Alert) Gains Ground

There’s a new deputy sheriff in town, and its name is Huawei.

According to ABI Research, Huawei pulled ahead of Nokia Siemens Networks (News - Alert) recently to become the No. 2 wireless equipment vendor. Ericsson remains the leader in this space, with  $3.5 billion in wireless network equipment sales during the fourth quarter of last year.“Huawei had an exceptionally good fourth quarter,” says Aditya Kaul of ABI Research. “Preliminary quarterly results of U.S. $2.53 billion for wireless networks were up 54 percent quarter-on-quarter and 38 percent year-on-year. As a result, Huawei grabbed second place from NSN in wireless network equipment market share for the fourth quarter of 2011.” 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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Rich Tehrani,
Since 1982 Rich has led TMC© in many capacities. Rich Tehrani is an IP Communications industry expert, visionary, author and columnist. He founded INTERNET TELEPHONY® magazine...Read More >>>
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Today as a partner at Crossfire Media, Carl is developing programs that bring to light an understanding of the issues required for delivering broadband wireless Internet...Read More >>>
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om is executive technology editor for TMC® Labs, the industry’s most-well known and respected testing lab, and ...Read More >>>