Day one of MWC was dominated by the usual array of sexy devices with ever increasing feature lists and ever diminishing true differentiation. Today, we saw more of the same with some more color on tablets plus Microsoft and Nokia driving down the Windows Phone specs and price points to potentially enable the next 1B smartphone users.
More significant for me today were the reactions and statements of leading operators. Operator alliances to promote TD-LTE as well as branding RCS under the Joyn moniker as well as significant discussions of privacy issues were all front and center in Barcelona today.
Joyn apps for Android are being shown off at MWC, and in the coming months they will be joined by iOS apps and devices with the capabilities built in.
There is clear consumer demand for enriched messaging and voice services, and Rich Communications provides mobile
network operators with solutions to address these consumer needs.
? Anne Bouverot, GSMA
We also see the industry moving forward on privacy guidelines issues today by the GSMA being a much needed initiative given the tsunami of apps and the inevitable rising tide of opportunities for abuse.
Further evidence of operators and service providers looking to partner to grow the entire mobility pie can be found in the m-payments arena where Vodafone was top of mind with planned global offering partnering with Visa for NFC.
The operator keynote panel which included China Mobile CEO Li Yue, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, and Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T's mobile business as well as Franco Bernabe, CEO of Telecom Italia painted a picture of an industry with significant challenges in declining arpu, escalating investment costs, growing competition from OTT players and of course those pesky regulators.