In two weeks I head to Barcelona for GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, the largest annual gathering for the mobile communications industry.
It’s always a great conference, but this year is particularly exciting for us; GSMA’s invited IBM and several of our clients and partners, like AT&T, Ericsson, Korea Telecom, Qualcomm and Vodafone, to exhibit in the Embedded Mobile House. The house is a new specialty pavilion that gives visitors a chance to engage with an entirely interconnected environment and experience the benefits.
As I prepare for the trip, it’s easy to imagine the potential of embedded mobile technology – if I leave my house without turning down the thermostat or starting the security systems – it would be handy to be able to do either from my smart phone.
But the opportunities that mobile technology creates extend far beyond consumer electronics. Mobility is the very foundation of a smarter planet. Given that communications service providers furnish the fabric of the world’s mobility, it stands to reason that pervasive mobility creates tremendous opportunity for these companies – well beyond what’s possible in the saturated traditional communications market.
By expanding service portfolios with specific offerings for key industries like healthcare, retail, banking, and government – the aperture for growth opportunities dramatically widens for agile service providers. Consider the roll to be played when,
- hospitals transmit patient data to physicians’ mobile devices and integrate it with health records and medical applications.
- transportation agencies aggregate data for all modes of travel and serve them up on a consumer’s mobile device.
- banks allow customers to manage a secure electronic wallet via a smart phone.
- utility workers control electricity networks using real-time mobile monitoring technology.
Each of these systems is dependent on the communications industry to connect them. By reframing the role of the service provider, communications companies gain access to – and create value in – new markets.
The Embedded Mobile House gives us a compelling way to explore these scenarios. I hope you have the opportunity to experience it yourself – I think it will inspire you to think about how you can you help your clients become smarter with better communication.
Scott Stainken is IBM’s General Manager for the Global Telecommunications Industry. Please visit www.ibm.com/events/mwc2011 for more information on IBM’s presence at Mobile World Congress.