Our colleague Sandor Maxim de Wit, Business Development Specialist at the Great Wall Club, followed the events on the Mobile World Congress live in Barcelona.
Long Term Evolution main subject at MWC
This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was all about 4G for the attending Chinese companies. The second largest Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE (5th largest worldwide) announced 18 closed deals on LTE technology on the second day of the MWC. Currently holding 7% of the global key patents on LTE, ZTE aims to increase its current share of essential patents for the 4G standard to 10% by 2012, according to Mr. Hu Jian, Vice President of ZTE. After announcing over 3bln RMB net profit for 2010, this wave of deals is additional good news and a great start into 2011 for the Shenzhen based company. The manufacturer also showed its newest smartphone units on MWC and followed Google’s example by integrating NFC into the handsets. ZTE’s global sales of terminal products grew by nearly 50 percent year-on-year up to 90 million units in 2010.
China Mobile partnered with Alcatel-Lucent this year to show LTE technology to interested MWC visitors. LTE enabled Audi A8 cars were driving in the neighborhood of the MWC in Barcelona, demoing data-intensive online services with the 4G standard. Alcatel-Lucent collaborates closely with China Mobile on LTE technology, and the development of next generation cloud-based access networks. Vodafone also just signed an agreement with the Chinese biggest mobile operator at the China Mobile-Vodafone Strategic Co-Operation/CEO Forum. Taking place during the MWC this week in Barcelona, the two companies agreed on working together and cooperating in fields like roaming services, research, and especially the development and deployment of LTE technology.
Paradigm-shift for mobile operators: WAC
Rival Huawei, world’s third largest network equipment manufacturer announced a partnership with the Philipines operator SMART to build the first global mobile application store to support WAC, Wholesale Applications Community. With mobile app systems and app stores developing rapidly, mobile operators search for ways to get into these walled gardens, and escape their current single task of just delivering the data. WAC is one initiative adressing exactly this issue, by enabling mobile operators to participate directly into the application system. It provides “opportunities for global developers to create, synchronize and sell applications using standard and open Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs)”. WAC, and other frameworks like LiMo (with NTT DoCoMo among it’s founders) and OneAPI, are possible ways for the carriers to compete with strong app ecosystems like iOS and Android.
Huawei also introduced its new mobile devices at the exhibition, including an Android 2.2 tablet and the Android 2.3 smartphone IDEOS X3. The company is cooperating with SoftBank Mobile to launch the device in Japan soon. Huawei has launched about 10 Android smartphones and will introduce 10 more smartphones in 2011. Over 120 million devices have been sold by the Shenzhen-based company in 2010, with a more than 54% increase in handset contract sales to over $2.1 billion.
About the Author
Research and Consulting Manager at GWC, Arndt is also the author of the organization’s GWC Insights and GPORT reports. His past experience includes innovation and technology management, and technology strategies in the ICT industry.