What Mobile World Congress looks like from space, er, Scotland

Following Mobile World Congress – #MWC14 – on Twitter cannot be done. It is like trying to drink from a fire hose. You scroll down. You scroll up and find another 160 tweets have been posted in the last two seconds.

It seems like chaos – a cauldron of hyper-activity.

Yet, nuggets reach our ears and make some sense.

Mr Zuckerberg believes that paying $19 billion for WhatsApp is cheap. By buying them Mr Zuckerberg wants them to concentrate on connecting people, not having to get their hands dirty by having to make money. He also wants free internet for all (at which point, presumably, the temperature in the main auditorium dropped about 20 degrees), access to operators’ customers and a German newspaper thinks he is an octopus.

Meanwhile the world has tweeted that the CEO of Deutsche Telekom said that the moment you make something free, you become the product. It is, is it not, a pity that he didn’t say that 20 years ago!

In a survey of two tweeters, we can reliably tell you that the NFC badges work 50 percent of the time. One tweeted that he had finally found a use case for NFC, the other was just annoyed, although he sorted it out today.

PayPal are in the spotlight today, re-visiting their mantra that payments are not about payments they are about enriching the digital commerce experience. They are also launching some wearable commerce solutions as well. Which might be cool, or might be geeky, or might be both. Talking of which, we have the CEO of DoCoMo showing off a tee shirt that monitors your heart rate.

Meanwhile a new report predicts that mobile payments will grow six fold by 2017, to $117 billion. If operators can leverage the opportunity that is Direct Operator Billing, then they will realize one of the three main goals that will save them from eroding traditional revenues.

The Internet of Things – the term that is taking over from M2M – is also big at the event, with Ford predicting that by 2050 there will be between two and four billion cars in the world, while Volvo and Ericsson are dreaming of a sentient car and BillingViews is wondering when the first bus leaves for Mars.

Frankly, watching Mobile World Congress via Twitter is tricky, so we will just have to go in person….watch for our report.

 

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Alex Leslie
About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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