Earlier this month I stopped by Mobile World Congress Shanghai with a few of my colleagues Ed Gubbins of Current Analysis and Malcolm Rogers of Pyramid Research). Was it as big as the GSMA’s Barcelona event in the spring? No. Was the weather more reminiscent of a mid-summer New Orleans — if someone had pumped in all of LA’s smog? Yes. Was it still a solid investment of time? Definitely.
When an event held in the world’s most populous city is open to the public, you might reasonably question the value of official attendance numbers. Yet, even if attendance wasn’t up by a claimed 55 percent over last year, the show was valuable for insights it lent into the network demands and priorities of Asian carriers. Think technologies getting deployed into markets like China, Japan, and South Korea. Will all of these technologies make it out of Asia? Maybe not. Will a bunch of them? Sure. Of course, given the size of those markets, it might not even matter if vendors ever sell them more broadly.
While far from an exhaustive list, a few things caught my attention.