3GSM Mobile Web Review

Written by Rudy De Waele and edited by Richard MacManus. Note: this is a Mobile Web
focused excerpt from Rudy’s complete
wrapup
of the 3GSM World Congress, held recently in
Barcelona.

One
of the things I realized during the
MobileMonday Global Peer Awards
is the increasing globalization of innovation. Innovation
is happening everywhere
and a lot of start-up companies are working in the mobile web
area; while still in its very early stage, the mobilisation of the web is happening.

Google vice-president and
chief Internet evangelist Vinton G. Cerf – also one of the founding fathers of the
Internet – predicted
Tuesday that mobile phones, not personal computers, will fuel the growth
of the worldwide Web, as countries like India snap up millions of handsets monthly.

The mobilisation of the web was an important part of the discussions during 3GSM. Mike Rowehl and

Carlo Longino
wrote on this already; also read
Michael Mace’s
interesting take on this subject.

The content
hall (Hall 7) of the exhibition was filled with a lot of mobile adult (Sign ‘O’ the
Times
?) and web companies resolutely going mobile including Yahoo. Shozu won for the 2nd time in a row the prize for Most Innovative Mobile Application
or Content Award
with its Mobile MultiMedia Delivery Platform. To me Shozu is one of
the truly real great mobile integrated applications, but isn’t this a sign that no
other great innovative applications are around, or haven’t been noticed by the
organizers, or maybe have not been found worthy or mature to market yet?

This 3GSM was definately too early for the many mobile 2.0 (web) companies. Many of them need to
work harder on their business models; they may try to go around the operators, but I
think that over the next couple of years start-ups need to combine their innovative ideas
and technology to work with the network operators, to deploy compelling new
services – supposing these become available for the masses with affordable fees of
course. In any case, this show didn’t have any sign of partnering mobile 2.0
companies yet, but hopefully we can expect some changes next year.

Operators now seem to realise that the top down content models are not working –
people need content to consume and to play with. Vodafone seems to have understood this ahead of its
competitors, and they announced some remarkable breakthrough deals. With European markets
fully saturated with mobile telephones, Vodafone sees India as a key area for potential
growth – see Vodafone’s
$11.1 billion acquisition of India’s Hutchinson Essar
.
On the services side, Vodafone concluded deals with YouTube and MySpace. Nokia, on the other
hand will offer YouTube
content
through a web browser and its new Nokia Video Centre, over mobile video RSS
feeds. You can check all
20 Nokia press releases released during 3GSM
thanks to Stefan at RingNokia.

3UK
announced
that Windows Live Messenger is now provided as a rich instant messenger
mobile software client, allowing 3 customers to see the “presence” of their
Messenger contacts and exchange messages when on the move with 3 mobile.

In the Mobile Search field I missed a panel with Daniel Appelquist – one of the real mobile
illuminates I met during 3GSM, but you can read
a good review here at MoCoNews
. Another session I had to miss due to the many
meetings was the Technology Breakout session on Mobile Web 2.0 moderated by Ajit Jaokar
with Jon von Tetzchner – CEO Opera Software, Alex Kummerman – CEO Clicmobile and David
Wood – VP Research at Symbian. Alex sent me a link where you can view the session
presentations
. Also interesting was the
transcription of Tim Berners Lee’s keynote at 3GSM
by Ajit.

To close, a
note that Second Life will soon be accessible from your mobile phone.
According to MarketingVox and Reuters’ Second Life bureau
software from Comverse Technology will enable Second Life residents to visit the
virtual world from their Java-enabled mobile devices. The software was developed over the
last six months, well before the open-sourcing of the Second Life client, and relies on
using a separate PC or server as an intermediary. Comverse has also created an
application that allows Second Life to run on IPTV platforms. (picture from
Reuters)

Thanks Rudy for the 3GSM coverage. Head over to his
blog
for full details about the conference.

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