BARCELONA — With the mobile industry driving even more leading-edge technology into the hands of global consumers, ensuring that all stakeholders throughout the ecosystem are evolving as quickly as end-user demand is often a challenge.
Advancing the entire ecosystem was a part of a panel keynote discussion Thursday morning (March 1st), the last day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
"In the last five years we have seen a seismic shift in the mobile industry. We have moved from hard-wired Internet to mobile Internet. In five years, we've seen the hype around the cloud become a reality. We've seen how smartphones that were once available for a select few are now mainstream," said Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer at Juniper Networks. "There is a significant wave of mobile growth... and that's what driving new opportunities."
CEO, Juniper Networks
For Johnson, one of the imperatives facing the industry is the need for an open and programmable Internet.
To demonstrate the need for an open, secure and multi-layered mobile Internet, Johnson showed a video. A woman is driving in a car listening to music. There's a car crash. Her smartphone calls 911, and sends her medical records -- indicating that she has a rare blood type -- to the ambulance. As she is rolled into the hospital, a doctor can ask her questions via a tablet being held by a nurse. All of the data-retrieval is shown as a Star Trek-style visual overlay of where devices and networks are pulling data from various secure and interconnected systems and networks. The last scene shows a recovering patient in a hospital bed saying hello to someone in her family.
"Programmability is critical for the kinds of services --and quality of services -- we're talking about delivering in the future," he said. "This will fuel innovation for the next 10 years."
This sort of converged network accessibility was also on the mind of ZTE President Shi Lirong. But his view was more focused on the operator-carrier side.
Depending on which analysts reports you look at, "total data traffic could increase 15 times from 2010 to 2015, but I think with all the new tablets and phones, data traffic will increase even more than this," he said.
By creating a converged network business model, companies throughout the ecosystem will be able to enhance the consumer experience while keeping the total cost of ownership at levels that make fiscal sense, he added.
However, all this nifty connectivity would be for naught if not for the computing technology that's embedded into devices, software and base stations through the mobile universe, pointed out Warren East, chief executive officer of ARM.
The computing capacity that sits in user hands and runs on a tiny battery is a triumph of design, in terms of the microprocessing requirements and systems-on-a-chip scalability, East said.
And, much of the technology that powers handset and tablets at the leading edge of the consumer spectrum could also be applied to improve the network, he added.
"The systems on a chip, the applications, the middleware, and tools -- all the things that have grown up around the mobile handset industry -- can be brought to this huge and rich ecosystem," East said. "We can reuse that technology in networking infrastructure so that networks can better support the device on which we consume data."
For full coverage of the Mobile World Congress, see our online page on the event