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Top 3 Revelations at Mobile World Congress 2013

Ovum expects Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 to focus on solutions aimed at driving mobile network operator service revenues. Ovum says that they're looking for a sense of reality -- and the acknowledgment that mobile service providers are no longer the sole provider of communications services.

I've selected the three most insightful anticipated revelations that Ovum analysts expect to see from the MWC13 event next week.

The Mobile Ecosystem Prepares for the Internet of Things

"Machine-to-machine communications (M2M) has been a theme of MWC for several years, with multiple showcases from vendors and operators. Increasingly, M2M is being repositioned as the Internet of Things (IoT) as the focus shifts to connecting smart objects to Internet applications," said Jeremy Green, Telco Strategy at Ovum.

Whereas M2M emphasized the business-to-business opportunity, which was conceptualized as vertical silos and niche markets, the IoT suggests a much larger opportunity with many more end points and spectacular growth rates.

Ovum expects that MWC 2013 will see a renewed interest in digital home services, urban infrastructure monitoring, connected car, and consumer electronics management, with operators presenting themselves as the essential partners for enterprises that want to deepen and extend their relationships with their customers.

However, the brave new world of IoT contains a threat as well as an opportunity. The Internet is an enabler of disruptive business models as much in the domain of smart objects as it is for communications and content. Therefore, many hardware manufacturers are looking to bypass service providers.

This can occur in part, as in the case of products in which connectivity is delivered via the mobile network but the operator brand is invisible, or wholly, as in the case of connected home solutions that are provided on a pure over-the-top (OTT) model enabled by the smartphone app store ecosystem.

The Telecom Industry Needs Smarter Innovations

"There will undoubtedly be numerous announcements at MWC 2013 that will be prefaced by the word innovation. While this remains a good thing, the pressures of a struggling global economy demands that the industry come up with smarter ways of serving customers profitably," said Emeka Obiodu, Telco Strategy at Ovum.

However, too many innovations fail to live up to their billing. Whether it is from telcos themselves, the numerous vendors hoping to partner with telcos, or the OTT players that can afford to go it alone, Ovum is keen to see and hear about real innovations that are both technologically and economically noteworthy enough to stand out.

Mobility Consumerization is Maturing Beyond BYOD

"Consumerization is becoming an increasingly important issue for enterprises. In the mobility space, this involves CIOs attempting to address and embrace BYOD. The huge demand for mobility solutions that secure corporate data and improve productivity across multiple mobile platforms has led to considerable growth in the enterprise mobility management (EMM) space over the past two years," said Richard Absalom, Consumer Impact Technology at Ovum.

Ovum expects to see further evidence of the evolution of the market at MWC 2013. All the major EMM vendors will be present and the space is hot enough that new players are still entering all the time.

Among all the demonstrations and new product announcements, we expect that the focus will be on moving the conversation beyond mobile device management to improving productivity through mobile enterprise app deployment.

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