Barcelona hosts 2012 Mobile World Congress
March 5, 2012
by Mark Ollig

Announced as a “world-class thought leadership conference” this year’s annual mobile wireless event is once again making news.

The 2012 GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communication Association) MWC (Mobile World Congress) event took place last week in Barcelona, Spain.

Over 60,000 people from 200 countries attended this event.

Attendees learned about the next generation of mobile technological breakthroughs, the latest wireless mobile apps (program application software), and new social media integrations.

Some of the companies which gave keynote addresses included Google, Nokia, Electronic Arts, and eBay.

Prince Felipe de Bourbon of Spain also spoke at the event.

About 3,000 CEOs and company presidents attended, including those from AT&T Mobility, Vodafone, Ford Motor Company, and China Mobile.

More than 1,400 companies were in Barcelona showcasing their new mobile devices, technology, and accessories.

A recent study released by GSMA said there will be 24 billion mobile phones and smart devices being used worldwide by 2020.

“Today, the connected devices market is dominated by mobile phones, but this will change in the future as a new wave of smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics, and M2M [Machine-to-Machine] devices connect everything from cars to health services and even entire cities,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer of GSMA.

The GSMA predicts, by 2020, the use of mobile devices world-wide will generate $4.5 trillion in revenue streams.

GSMA also believes, by 2020, it will have become routine to have cars and vehicles regularly sending and receiving information from various computing cloud platforms using wireless mobile technology.

Many of us already use wireless mobile applications in our cars, such as a GPS (Global Positioning System) for trip navigation.

“We also see the car as a modern and very capable mobile end device, on which our applications can be used,” said Marc Bechler, who is the expert in charge of BMW’s Micropauses car software applications division.

Yours truly looks forward to the day when I can have the performance and major systems of my car routinely checked (as I drive), using a wireless mobile remote diagnostics app from my local car dealer.

Soon, we will be able to program our cars for wireless mobile access to numerous applications and programs from the cloud, where, of course the “intelligence” resides.

Various cloud-computing platforms will process, update, store, and communicate wirelessly with our automobile’s built-in mobile program applications.

Although we do not have a futuristic Jetsons’ car, we can fly through the clouds; we can have a car on the ground communicating with the clouds.

“Oh, the irony of it all!” exclaims your brought-down-to earth columnist.

By 2020, it is estimated the cloud-connected car will have access to many new mobile-to-cloud connecting service applications; these new revenues alone are projected to be $600 billion.

“The mobile communications industry is creating a ‘Connected Economy’ across the globe, through network investment, job creation, and contributions to public funding,” said Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA.

GSMA stated that during 2011, global wireless mobile industry revenues were $1.5 trillion.

They predict by 2015, these revenues will grow to almost $2 trillion.

This increase in mobile-related revenues will be supporting an estimated 10 million mobile industry jobs.

During the MWC event, the winners of the 2012 Global Mobile Awards were announced.

Google was chosen as the Best Consumer Mobile Service winner for Google Maps for Android.

Ford Motor Company won the Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive award for their Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance.

Best Smartphone was awarded to Samsung, for their Samsung Galaxy S II.

The Angry Birds Rio game was the winner of the Best Mobile App for Consumers award.

To no one’s surprise, Apple won Best Mobile Tablet for their iPad 2.

Today’s mobile devices are being used for many other things besides voice calls. It is truly incredible when one thinks about it.

We can read books, magazines, and newspapers using mobile devices.

People are using mobile devices for online learning.

Mobile devices inform us with news and entertain us with games.

We watch movies, sports, and network television on them.

Mobile devices take our pictures and video, which we wirelessly upload to online servers such as Flickr and YouTube. From these online hosts, they are made available to be seen and shared with friends, family, and others throughout the world.

Our mobile devices keep us connected with our family, friends, and the people we do business with via voice, email, texting, instant messaging, and social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.

We create documents using our mobile devices, and upload them to places like WordPress, Blogger, and Google Docs.

We can do online banking using a mobile device app.

Individuals and businesses are using apps on their mobile devices for making and receiving credit card payments.

Mobile telemedicine technology provides real-time monitoring and uploading of patients’ vital signs.

The use of mobile devices worldwide as a political and social reporting tool is now commonplace.

Today’s sleek, lightweight, and powerful wireless mobile devices certainly have come a long way since the original hand-held mobile phone, or “brick,” we talked to each other on back in the day.

The GSMA Mobile World Congress website is at http://www.mobileworldcongress.com.

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