During this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, RCR Wireless stopped by our hospitality suite and interviewed Shrikant Latkar, VP of Products and Solutions Marketing, to find out more about the Aricent Group. In particular, they wanted to discuss our landmark of hitting 35 LTE deployments around the world, and the work we have been doing in small cells (Femtocells) with a variety of partners.
What a week! Finally MWC 2012 is behind us, so are the endless queues for taxis and sandwiches. The main themes this year at MWC were smartphones, Long term Evolution (LTE), small cells, quality of service (QoS) and Customer Experience Management (CEM). Most of these themes were around in previous years as well, but what this year different is the emphasis on the implementation and commercialization.
Walking around the booths at MWC one gets a definite feeling that finally smartphones have achieved critical mass, forcing many operators to look at LTE and a host of other technology innovations to cost effectively address this ever growing market.
Although Apple was absent at the show, the smart phone revolution that they started has gathered steam and this was obvious at this year’s MWC. Smart phones of every imaginable size and shape were on display. LG & Samsung had devices supporting LTE with quad core processors, while Fijitsu displayed water proof smart phones (perhaps a way to differentiate in a market dominated by the Android OS).
Service providers have for several years been urged to learn from the retail industry on how to connect with their customers. The argument is that retailers have the correct perspective on things: they pay attention to what the customer wants, and constantly reinvent themselves based on buying behaviors.
In contrast - and I paraphrase from the panel on Networks: Delivering Quality of Experience Despite Capacity Challenges at Mobile World Congress -historically, the carriers have focused on the point to point. Having given so much mindshare to connectivity, service providers find themselves unprepared for the connected world, which implies usage of convergent services across interoperable technologies.
I wondered, is it possible for a complex business to base its entire supply chain and infrastructure around customer satisfaction? Yes, IKEA. The Swedish company delivers on its promise of superior, inexpensive design by starting with what they think their customer will pay, for say a table lamp, and then working backwards from there to adjust the supply chain, including manufacturing components, to make that possible.
Picking up on the spirit of this analogy, carriers must start with what the customer wants, and then pay attention to how to (re)architect their networks and infrastructure from there, constantly tweaking various components in response to usage andservice delivery demands. It used to be that the pipe was the end; now, it’s the means to an end: letting customer satisfaction drive your supply chain and infrastructure.
So instead of the traditional service-oriented SLA, we need a new type of agreement: the Satisfaction Level Agreement.
The major announcements at this year's Mobile World Congress have mostly revolved around Android handsets. The heavy competition is pushing companies to be more adventurous with their designs both aesthetically and functionally. A common theme this year has also been the emphasis on photography and music quality out of the handsets. Let's look at the style, imaging, and sound trends in more depth. In this post I'll talk about the handset design highlights, and in Part Two I'll look at imaging and sound.
After years of me-too look-alike phones (mimicking you-know-what in many cases), or just plain ugly phones, Android is finally getting some handsets that try to be a bit different and a more stylish. We are seeing more interesting uses of materials, shapes that try to break out of the basic rounded rectangle (at least within the tight constraints of such a small device dominated by a flat display on one side), and nice detailing that again breaks out of the minimalist mold. Overall build quality is better too.
Recently Fast Company ran a lengthy piece on the four companies that will dominate the tech economy in the next ten years: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google. All four are tremendously powerful companies that each started in one category (book selling, search engine, etc.) and are branching out to disrupt adjacent categories. Because of this, they are all coming into conflict with one another. And they are all strong forces in mobile.
So it is strange being at Mobile World Congress where these brands have minimal, if any, presence. Apple has no official presence, but its products are everywhere either in reality (almost all attendees have iPhones) or by proxy (the iPhone is what triggered the smartphone revolution that is driving most of the business here). Amazon seems completely absent, and Facebook was involved in a talk and has a nondescript booth in one of the less trafficked halls.
Whitepapers & Case Studies
The Aricent Group worked with a leading maker of chipsets on an advanced home energy management system that integrated with existing smart meters and smart grid infrastructure, and provided real-time energy usage feedback to the homeowner.
Learn how strategic test partnerships simplify telecom ecosystems and streamline R&D.
Understand the disruptions going on in the communications landscape and how innovative end-user experiences are becoming a critical differentiating factor for subscriber acquisition and a host of new technologies including Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Femtocells.