In early October, I visited Moscow to attend Capacity Russia and CIS. Everyone I was with kept telling me it looked like a regular Russian winter day (except it wasn’t cold ). See the picture above and you get the idea. Red Square was more than I expected and I was particularly impressed with the memorial to WWII soldiers just off the Red Square.
Dialogic has been doing business in Russia for many, many years, though this was my first visit. It was quite an interesting experience on many fronts. There is definitely growth going on here and people are excited. While in Moscow I had some problems getting 3G service – I got it but if I moved 10 feet it was gone – and when I got it wasn’t as fast as I’m used to - but it was there and it worked and I was able to stay pretty well connected. 3G service is still coming to many parts of the country and beyond that, the advanced network news is that WiMax operator Yota is shifting to LTE and Rostelecom plans to conduct LTE trials. I predict that soon Russia will have some of the issues we had in the States and other parts of the world had with bogged down networks, since well, like music is universal, so is the need for mobile data!
I also conducted a small press conference. While I’ve done this in the past, I have never done it where my blog (this blog!) is translated. So I think the press expected me to speak Russian. Sorry about that! It was fun though.
I then also visited Italy to see some customers and analysts. And eat. It turns out that a couple of weeks ago, Italy just concluded LTE spectrum auctions, to the tune of almost 4B Euros. Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Wind and 3 Italia all acquired spectrum and spent the money. As I said in an April blog about Italy, Italy has the highest penetration of smartphone use in Europe, so it makes sense that the operators would want to snap up mobile internet spectrum. But with the spend about 25% more than the top forecasts, it shows just how much, even in this uncertain economy, mobile bandwidth is worth.