The basic premise was fairly simple. While the business model around broadcast linear television may be suspect (or even dated), the current thinking around LTE-Broadcast is about much more: data services, peak traffic offload, special event content offers. Likewise, if we want operators to be innovative, we must be open to the introduction of new technologies – even if the business models around their deployment are not 100% understood yet.
However, I left two key questions out of the column. First, since the concept of broadcast or multicast services over cellular networks isn’t new, what’s going to make LTE-Broadcast different from its predecessor MBMS (broadcast over 3G)? Second, what’s the role of standards here?
Last year, my team and I had a chance to sit down with the CTO of a major U.S. mobile operator. We’d just officially launched our Service Enablement practice looking at OSS/BSS market dynamics, so one of the things we were hoping to learn was how much of a focus this was for him. Having built the reputation of a carrier committed to service and pricing innovation, we expected OSS/BSS – and IT generally – to be a significant, growing part of his budget. Instead, he ballparked RAN spending to be 80%+ of his spend.
One the way home from Barcelona last week, I got to watch a bunch of superhero/Sci-Fi action movies that I’ve been missing out on lately (Spoiler Alert: Thor saves all realms from the Dark World, and I believe that we’re all documented citizens of Elysium now). I bring this up because I was also thinking about another topic that can sometime seem like science fiction to a lot of us following the industry: the relationship between operator technology demands and the true role of pricing in their decision-making process.
As the tail-end of February rolled around, there were only two things I felt comfortable saying about “5G” with any certainty:
1. Given South Korea’s penchant for using the international event to showcase technological wonders, Pyeongchang would likely be hosting 5G demos, along with the next Winter Olympics four years from now.
2. In the meantime, the 2014 edition of Mobile Word Congress would include its fair share of 5G messaging and positioning.
Coming out of MWC 2014, then, it’s worth reflecting on whether or not I can say much more.
Wednesday afternoon at this year’s Mobile World Congress, IBM CEO Virginia Rometty presented a keynote address. It was a first for IBM and Mobile World Congress. I was lucky enough to be a part of the GSMA’s video review, giving some predictions on what she might say and then grading her performance. I wasn’t alone, and in the pre-keynote discussion, one of the other panelists said he’d hoped she would focus on service provider dynamics since MWC is a “telco show.” My big hope, I chimed in, was that she’d talk about IBM’s Watson work (she did), but the notion of MWC as a “telco show” stuck with me. More precisely, it struck me as fundamentally incorrect. Continue reading “MWC 2014: Don’t Call It a Telco Show!”→