MAD Perspectives Blog

 MWC2015 Where Mobile and Media Collide

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Mobile World Congress is not the train wreck that the title implies. In fact it's the long awaited convergence of two industries. 15+ years ago telecoms, or communication service providers, began readying themselves for the delivery of video content. The focus was on the deployment of content delivery networks, enabling the caching of popular webpages at the edge of the network to ensure rapid deliver to consumers.

Fast forward to 2015 and the default expectation for video of the internet (OTT). We would be lost without Netflix and our annual binge viewing of House of Cards. And, its consumption on devices not imagined 10 years. But, the real sign of industry convergence is happening this week in Barcelona, Spain. I'm not attending, but I've been to Mobile World Congress many times. What began as an event designed to bring together the technology ecosystem relevant to the mobile industry, has broadened its appeal over the past several years. Whether it was intentional or accidental, or perhaps a bit of both, it is an acknowledgement that mobility is all about the content. Just as TV and internet have been all about content since the their respective inceptions.

The mobile ecosystem used to be limited to network equipment providers, IT company with operational and business support solutions, telecom providers and device manufacturers. Then Apple introduced the iPhone. I was in Barcelona that year. I remember how many iPhones surreptitiously crossed the Atlantic to find homes with colleagues who did not yet have access to this miracle device. Apple solidified a concept which had been bubbling for years - that of apps residing on the phone. With their closed ecosystem, this concept finally took hold. And, content enablers, social media innovators and hollywood execs started showing up at MWC.

For me, this was the tipping point for media colliding with telco. Now, content creators were interested in MWC. Now there was talk of managing increasing data volumes on wireless networks, not fiber or copper. Today we watch video on our smartphones. tablets or fabulist, video chat with friends and family, and capture pictures and video with phones with image quality as good as point & shoot cameras. We share content from our phones via messaging, email and social networks.

App development is a big business now. Whether it is for games, health, business, finance, sport, lifestyle - there is an app for that. Major media companies have developed apps for accessing their content just as the service providers enabling delivery of that content. Social networks must have a mobile strategy or the markets will punish them.

This year's event addresses all the hot trends: wearables, the Internet of Things, devices, and all of the BIG data related to all of those topics. What is the result of the collision between telecom and media? Flexibility. Accessibility. Freedom. Creativity.

What's your perspective?