April 03, 2007

A few comments and observations from CTIA Wireless

CTIA Wireless 2007 – there’s no doubt about it, content is still king… however, simplicity and ease of use are indeed “the killer app”. That was the message presented in sessions, demonstrations, panel discussions, and meetings at North America’s recent wireless industry convention. Some of the key impressions I took away from the event include the following:

- mobile content is king and the industry (and users) are craving more mobile content – in particular entertainment.

- Application developers have plenty of opportunities, although the competition is brisk. Simple to use, intuitive applications are what people want. Make it functional, entertaining, useful, and simple.

- Location-based services and applications are hot and in demand. Think about it, there were more than 340 entries in this year’s North American LBS Challenge. Looking to get your LBS app on a device? Think social networking, community building, entertainment, and gaming… these appear to be the LBS services that are of greatest interest (to carriers and end users)

- GPS-enabled devices are coming on strong.

- Developing applications for a variety of handsets, operating systems, and languages is still a challenge. It’s still quite amazing to see many applications that have been created to run solely on one application or even one device.

These are but a few of the topics that stuck out in my mind after taking in 3 days at CTIA. Here’s more samplings of items that got my attention and may get you thinking about the direction you want to take as you develop apps and services for the mobile space heading into 2008.

China – explosive usage – 25 new customers every second

US usage at about 75%

93% of mobile users surveyed by mywireless.org are satisfied with current service provider

68% believe government regulation on wireless will make services more costly

The new killer app… ease of use. Bringing together the 3 screens.

Demand for speed and data. Usage of data apps for business has soared $7.2 B usage in 2006… data usage is exploding. Today 1 in 5 users uses data. 45% of youth are mobile data users.

Mobile banking is also coming on and is in high demand.

48,000 hotspots in 79countries around the Globe.

40% of population frequently look for directions on web

Note: local search is expected to grow 282% in next 5 years. Great as only 15% of cell phone users use data services.

A tip to Developers, avoid navigation services (saturated) maybe look at social networking or location-based games as an option.

Location isn’t a service, it’s a service enabler!

Favorite tagline from the event... without the L it's just BS! (Source: Tele Atlas)

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