LIVE from Mobile World Congress: What operators are chanting these days…


While “location, location, location” might be the real estate agent’s mantra, for service providers it’s all about “spectrum, spectrum, spectrum“. At the first keynote session of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, both Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s CEO and Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility insisted that if regulators don’t release more spectrum to operators, it will harm the future growth of the industry.

The secret of innovation…
De la Vega talked of the “virtuous cycle of innovation” which is first of all fueled by making spectrum available. This then allows the development of advanced networks, which in turn encourages the development of advanced devices. The fourth stage in the cycle is the development of applications and content, which helps create consumer consumption. With mobile data demand in 2011 being 8 times greater than the whole of the global Internet in the year 2000, de la Vega insisted that this cycle can only continue if more spectrum is released.

Smartphones are better than sex?
And as Colao explained, people really, really want their data-hungry smartphones. A Vodafone survey found that 70 percent of customers would give up alcohol for a week in return for their smartphone, 63 percent chocolate and a third even preferred having a smartphone available to having sex!

Colao also pointed out that it’s not only people who are data hungry. By 2020, there will be 2.3 billion M2M connections, and these machines aren’t going to be distracted by chocolate in their demand for data.

One Comment

  1. Posted February 27, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink


    I think that spectrum here is the infrastructure for innovation.
    Once you have LTE – an all-IP network, the sky is the limit to what can be done on top of it to innovate.
    Spectrum, specs, form factors and hardware are not where the focus os innovation today is – the focus is in apps and what they do with the rest of the hardware.


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