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The LTE World Summit and Volcanic Ash

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I was determined to get there no matter what.  I’ve been to the LTE series of events – the LTE World Summit, LTE Asia, and LTE Americas over the last couple of years.  Even after taking off from Boston Logan airport Sunday, flying half way across the Atlantic, hearing the announcement that the airport is closed due to volcanic ash, and turning around and being sent back to Logan airport – did not discourage me.  LTE and the Evolved Packet Core are that important. 

Slight blog sidetrack.  Some common answers about the actual travel experience:

  • No, you don’t get frequent flight miles for the extra miles on the trip even though you are in the air for 6 hours and flew 3000 miles.
  • No, they don’t give you a business class upgrade on the next flight.
  • No, they don’t pick up the phone to rebook – at least not for 12 hours or so
  • Yes, it’s the same movies when you reboard two days later

Now, back to the LTE World Summit itself…….

Even though I was only there for half the event, thanks to the volcano, I was shocked at the number of people at the event from operators, to vendors, to analysts.  If this event is any indication, LTE and the EPC are growing in importance and mindshare. 

Cisco again was a sponsor of the event (did everyone like the cake this year?) and I personally took part as delegate, speaker, and panelist.  One of the key themes of the show continues to be the monetization of the Mobile Internet.  The title of my presentation was “How User Experience and Differentiated Services will Drive the Adoption of LTE.”  Here is the Cliff Note version:

  • Mobile Internet Tidal Wave is here from new usable devices, new technologies, new consumer friendly billing plans, and new applications that leverage all of this (BTW – Everyone uses the Cisco VNI numbers as industry reference points.)
  • Costs are increasing faster than revenues
  • Investment in the packet core leveraging the operator’s unique session-state intelligence will be the engine for future profitability and will enable new business models such as the B2B2C
  • Three key macro ways to monetize:
    1. Protect, control, and grow the existing services base – The combination of Policy, In-line Services, and Mobility Unified Reporting provides the baseline to embarking on the monetization journey.
    2. Develop revenue share with 3rd party providers – This leverages the intelligence of the network to create a better service experience for the consumer, while sharing revenues with over-the-top content/application providers.
    3. Increase revenues through new services provided by the mobile operator – there are many interesting new service opportunities that leverage the complete Cisco end-to-end network.

There were many other interesting presentations and themes that came out during the event.  Thanks to twitter and other social networking mechanisms; even missing a day of the event I was able to get the overall feel and feedback of the event.  Some key themes and highlights (both from me and from those kind enough to blog) include:

  • Trials are reaching 25G to 50G today
  • Telia Sonera telling everyone to skip trial and “Just Do It”
  • Networks are ready for LTE/EPC, lack of devices are a bigger challenge
  • Spectrum is a major challenge throughout the industry
  • Monetization continues to be a key challenge for any mobile broadband technology
  • Voice over LTE has made significant progress, but still is a challenge moving forward

You can find other takes on the event through the following links in the press and blogs including posted presentations:

http://disruptivewireless.blogspot.com/2010/05/thoughts-on-lte-conference.html

http://www.lightreading.com/blog.asp?blog_sectionid=414&doc_id=192140

http://3g4g.blogspot.com/2010/05/using-lte-to-boost-arpu.html

http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/2010/05/the_holy_cow_of.html

For those tired of Powerpoint, Dimitris Mavrakis provided a great presentation on Open APIs, introducing a new tool that I know I will be using in the future.  http://prezi.com/cmngsqbcy6jl/lte-and-network-apis/

That’s all for now, but we’ll be hearing much more on LTE and the EPC.

Jonathan Morgan is a member of the Service Provider Mobility marketing team working, writing, and thinking about Evolved Packet Core solutions.  You can read Jonathan’s tweets at http://twitter.com/jamncl4

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