Here at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, Nokia Siemmens Networks CTO Hossein Moiin kicked off the event with a keynote speech focused on the future of the mobile industry. It's a fitting start to a conference dedicated to all things mobile, and, as Moiin says, this "open mobile revolution has just begun."
?To begin, Moiin talked about where we are now and revealed some impressive statistics. In every second in 2010, 290 applications are downloaded to smartphone or smart device and 8 smartphones are connected to the Internet.
But despite this growth, as we head into the future, there's uncertainty ahead. On the one hand, technology is becoming more personal, he said. Yet at the same time, social networks are growing. So are we growing more individualistic or more social? I don't know the answer to that, said Moiin.
To explain the investment cycle, he showed the following slide, which explained how, going forward, there are two pillars supporting investment: broadband connectivity and mobility as the norm.
The future network is not homogenous - there will be a number of networks, from Wi-Fi to LTE and beyond. Capacity and coverage need to increase. Cloud computing will really take off - the network is the cloud. But challenges will exist as well, as the world becomes increasingly connected. Dependability and ease-of-use will be key in a hyper-connected world. New business models will be needed for growth. Better technology will need to arrive at lower costs to lower the barrier of entry.
Another challenge is the increasingly "walled" Web. Some of the walls are being erected by government, but other walls are created by Web players themselves protecting their own interests. This trend can stifle innovation, which needs openness, agility and flexibility.
LightSquared's New 4G Network
At the end of the speech, Moiin announced that Nokia Siemens Networks will open a new lab in Silicon Valley in partnership with LightSquared. The lab will work on building a 4G/LTE network here in the U.S.
Sanjiv Ahuja, CEO of LightSquared, then took the stage to discuss how his company will help address the shortage of spectrum in the U.S. The U.S. wireless industry is falling short on delivery he said. There are network bottlenecks, the ecosystem is controlled, prices are inflated and the user experience is poor.
The U.S. is ranked 15th in terms of household broadband connections, leaving millions without this level of connectivity. LightSquared's network will help these people get connected as it will be the first wholesale-only, mobile broadband network, complemented by satellite coverage. It will offer everyone high-speed connectivity wherever they are in the U.S. "Even in the Grand Canyon," even in rural areas, he said.
LightSquared will sell its network to retail partners who will have control over distribution, pricing, product and services. The company sees itself not so much as a direct competitor to other 4G providers, like Clearwire, but as a service that would fill anyone's capacity gaps.