In 2015, the key words of the Mobile World Congress were 5G, IoT, virtualization and LTE-U : PART 2

image accroche article MWC part 2

IoT : The Internet of Things

Connected objects were everywhere and IoT is now becoming the Internet of everything.

Connected cars

Connected cars attracted a lot of attention with connected vehicles on most of equipment manufacturers’ and MNOs’ booths.
Renault’s CEO made a keynote where he presented the timetable for assisted driving. According to Mr. Carlos Ghosn, despite their numerous initiatives and some acquisition rumours, Internet giants are not rivals to car manufacturers but allies, as they consider electric cars and they help car makers to promote electric cars.
Ford had even its own booth presenting the electric vehicles (both passenger and entreprise cars) with dedicated solutions. In the meantime, Vodafone presented a Porsche Panamera model equipped with its new Telematics solution since the Cobra acquisition.

Smart home

Smart is also getting traction in the IoT space. In the “innovation city” hall (space dedicated to the connected objects), through the connectedhouseAT&T offering (Digital life) where the home could control through the smartphone and even through the connected car (equipped with an AT&T SIM card). When approaching the home, the car can trigger the opening of gate by itself for instance (pre-programmed distance).


Several watches and smart objects were also present on the different booths. Only AT&T provides cellular connected wearable on its booth, including the TIMEX and Samsung Gear S.

Alternative technologies

While 5G is already in the tracks, very low throughput network technologies are also under the spotlights. After the recent release of its 100 MEUR fundraising campaign among telecom operators, Sigfox was also on everyone’s lips at the MWC. Among the main new shareholders, Telefonica confirmed its strategic investment and its willingness to integrate the technology into its portfolio to address additional verticals and applications.


The GMA (Global M2M Association) also announced a strategic collaboration with Gemalto and Ericsson to provide a Multi-Domestic Service based on a single SIM (using the eUICC technology) helping global enterprises (chiefly from the automotive and consumer electronics segments) capitalize on the growth of connected devices.

Growing market but still key challenges though

During his keynote, if AT&T Wireless CEO predicted that the smart phone will be the remote control of everything in the next few years, he also pointed out the key challenges to address in order to make the IoT market grow significantly:
•    Security
•    Privacy concerns
•    Effortless (ease of use)


privacylogoData about devices and their users is generated in real-time, often by default and without the user being aware or having choice (especially for free apps). There is a need for a different approach to giving users transparency, choice and control over their data and privacy.

Generally user has a single choice : accept or not using the service, there should be gradual approach (like sharing some id attributes but not all of them).
Privacy could be a competitive stick for service providers, as users are becoming more aware of privacy.

Facebook in emerging countries

fbFacebook has launched Facebook zero in partnership with mobile operators (Millicom, Telenor, Airtel): data use is free for a limited period, and after that operators can charge data.

•    Airtel: “Operators and Facebook are like the beauty and the beast, but the beast (facebook) is becoming more human nowadays”.  Airtel was reluctant to introduce Facebook because of VoIP threat. Is looking at it like the “boiling milk”.
•    Millicom, Telenor: have seen ARPU rise thanks to facebook launching, very promising for them.
•    Wikipedia has the same approach of “Wikipedia zero”, dealing with operator to provide data access for free.

Financial inclusion

Banks, such as Master Card, provide a global and interoperable solutions. Those systems needs public-private partnerships. Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad has launched a solution in Malaysia.

More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :

www.idate.org      www.digiworldsummit.com      www.digiworldweek.com


DigiWorld Summit: Key players

DigiWorld Summit

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"Game Changers: Mobile, Cloud, Big Data"

They are the key players of the Digital news and the Digital World… they will be at the DigiWorld Summit !

A third of all the Smartphones purchased by consumers during the 3 Q is a Samsung Device (<56 millions of smartphones vs. <30 for 3 Q 2011 ) …
Vassilis SEFERIDIS, Director European Business Development Samsung Electronics will participate to the Round-Table on Nov. 14 at 11:00am " Smart Devices ecosystems vs. Open Cloud".
Microsoft launches its Windows 8 . This is not only the last version of its OS which is operating >90% of the worldwide PC… It's really a new product which must give a new chance to the PC facing the other devices. .. the opportunity for the company to come back in the smartphones and tablets competition…

Speaker to be confirmed : we don't know today his name (!), but we will welcome an Executive from Microsoft at the Summit for a keynote speech on November 14, just before the lunch.
Julien LESAICHIERE, Windows Azure Platform Lead, will participate to the last panel of the Executive Seminar 3Big Dta & Privacy" on Nov 14.
Google which dominates the Web research engine market but also owns Android, Google Map or Street View and has a real ambition in the cloud based services, is again asked to give more information about its private data policy…

Barak REGEV, Enterprise Cloud Platforl Lead will be the invited Keynote speaker for the Executive Seminar of the Summit devoted to "Internet Economics, Big Data & Privacy" (November 14, afternoon);
Hal VARIAN, chief Economist at Google is one of the two high level people interviewed in the special issue of the DigiWorld Economics Journal, (Communications & Strategies N°88), which is also dedicated to the theme "Privacy, Openness and Trust). The other interview is done with Isabelle Falque PERROTIN, President CNIL (Fr.)
> More information on the website DigiWorld Summit 2012.


Edito by Yves Gassot


Yves Gassot



Patent thicket

My holidays in the second week of August coincided with the start of a patent trial before the US District Court of San Francisco between the smartphone market's number one player, Samsung - which had a just under 33% market share in Q2 - and the number two player: Apple, with a market share of just over 16%.

We will not comment here on the ruling, or even give our views on the lawyers' arguments.

Of course we can say that this trial is just one in a long series of court battles that have been waged in United States, Australia, Germany… which are listed in the annual chronicle in our latest DigiWorld Yearbook. We can also add that what is at stake in these patent wars is a market worth hundreds of billions of euros and, as an adjunct, a certain degree of control over the internet of tomorrow as the smartphone - and now tablets and smart devices in general - have become such a vital component in the supply of content, migration to the cloud, control of internet users, etc. Here, Samsung is far from a second-tier player: it is number one in terms of handset sales, in addition to being one of Apple’s key suppliers for iPhone components! But, aside from this South Korean giant which is the main purveyor of Android, it is Google and all of Android’s backers that are being targeted.

My summer holidays gave me an opportunity to reread a brilliant article written by Carl Shapiro back in 2001 titled, "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting". Already back then, the famous professor of economics from UC Berkeley had become interested in the patent tangle, and how the patent wars were clogging up the courts.

The purpose of patents is to protect innovation and stimulate investment in R&D. But an unbridled proliferation of patents can ultimately hamper innovation. Innovation is built on an accumulation of knowledge, a little like a pyramid, going higher and higher: each brick that is added raises the pyramid but also relies on a growing number of bricks for support. Are we building a system where each party who adds a new brick needs to negotiate with every other party who added a brick to the pyramid? This is a little like what is happening with smartphones which are extraordinary concentrations of technologies and so supported by thousands of patents.

We are also seeing holdup strategies from companies that are hoarding patents, often acquired through the takeover of other companies, with no intention of using them but rather holding them for ransom from other companies which, inadvertently, included features that are protected more or less explicitly by these patents in their products.

Several solutions have been suggested to prevent these entanglements that undermine a healthy state of competition and consumer interests:

  • the first is a more restrictive approach to innovations likely to be patented (non-obvious rule). So an application to patent the idea of downloading music or video from the Web, for instance, would be rejected;
  • the second is to reduce the life of patents, which is currently 20 years, to take the accelerated rate of innovation into account;
  • the third is to enable cross-licensing and the creation of patent pools. In the telecommunications sector, the advent of a standard goes hand in hand with a procedure whereby each player declares any related intellectual rights and agrees to licence the patents that are essential to complying with that standard, under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

But these desirable cooperative processes naturally continue to be closely watched by anti-trust bodies who may see them as more or less conscious forms of collusion, which would be detrimental to competition and consumer welfare. What we are faced with is the complexity of the ties that unite patents and competition policies, and regulation that needs to navigate between creating incentives to innovate and the barriers that they might erect.

Even though it's back to school time, if you can find the time, I highly recommend professor Shapiro's article. It can be found at the following URL.

And I hope you will all:

  • drop by our new DigiWorld Summit website: www.digiworldsummit.com,
  • and look at the very promising programme shaping up for our 2012 edition entitled "Game changers: Mobile, Cloud, Big data" (14 & 15 November).

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