Mobile World Congress is buzzing along. It is a mass of mobile communications humanity, all crisply dressed and swiftly moving along like a flash flood in an Arizona wash through both the Barcelona subway system and the venue at the Fira.
The 2014 Mobile World Congress theme is “Creating What’s Next.” That’s a good theme, but so far, I didn’t see anything unexpected in terms of “next.”
Overall themes I’ve seen on my first day of the event:
1. The Fourth Wave is fighting back against the over-the-top applications. The telcos are finding their way with additional value-added services and getting bolder about it. This comes across with messaging such as “Connected Home” and “Digital Life.” I’ll have more to say on this in, say, about a month.
2. Relating to the above, I see more and more M2M. Connected cars and what we used to refer to as “The Internet of Things” are spreading throughout our lives, connecting more of the machines we use every day.
3. LTE isn’t a new thing any longer. Practical problems such as Diameter roaming and interworking are becoming more mainstream.
4. VoLTE. While LTE isn’t a new thing any longer, voice over LTE is new. I see much more messaging around VoLTE than ever before.
5. Cloud / NFV / SDN. The movement of big iron infrastructure to software-based infrastructure is real, and it is gaining momentum. There is plenty of messaging about this, including HP’s unveiling of its OpenNFV program to accelerate services time-to-market for the telecom industry through virtualization.
WebRTC is one area where I expected to see more messaging, especially due to the focus on Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp and the renewed attention on OTT services. In Q2, WhatsApp plans to add voice services to its messaging platform, according to TechCrunch.
We see the hidden potential for Web giants such as Facebook to turn into the new communication vehicles for connecting people anywhere and anytime. Just last week, Tropo, the cloud communications API for voice and texting apps, announced it will be adding video with WebRTC help from the Dialogic PowerMedia XMS media server.