Here’s a brief look at the major announcements made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on Day Three
– Amdocs: Amdocs has launched a Cloud-Based Mobile Payments Solution called Amdocs Mobile Payments. The solution will enable mobile operators to scale their mobile payments businesses for both prepaid and postpaid customers in a quick and secure manner. Consumers can then opt to charge their purchases directly to their mobile phone bill, prepaid balance or mobile wallet. Press Release
– Sub $50 smartphones: CEOs of telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, VimpelCom and Telefónica Latin America have lamented on the lack of cheap smartphones and asked for hardware manufacturers to create sub-$50 smartphones in emerging markets. Bharti Airtel MD, Sunil Mittal claimed that the smartphone penetration in India is only 5%.
– Content needs to be paid for: They also said that operators may have spoiled consumers by giving mobile content away too fast, thus making them “bad gatekeepers” when services don’t meet expectations. “The fact is that nobody really sees it from the other way – that YouTube is consuming massive amounts of bandwidth on the network. And somebody has got to pay for that. If Google, Facebook and others are not going to pay for it, it will be transferred entirely onto customers,” Mittal said.
– Samsung: Samsung announced its intentions to be among the top three LTE network vendors by 2013 and among the top three players in the entire mobile infrastructure market by 2015. The company claimed to have eight commercial LTE contracts, outside of Europe and has deployed “tens of thousands of base stations”. MobileBusinessBriefing
– Millennial Media: Millennial Media announced the public launch of its self-service mobile solution, mMedia after launching it in private beta in Jan 2012. This solution will allow mobile app developers, franchises, and small or independent businesses to run mobile campaigns as part of their marketing strategy and manage bids, creative, targeting and more through a dashboard. The company claims that developers and advertisers will be able to reach over 200 million global mobile users through its advertising platform. Press Release
– Idea Cellular: Ericsson has signed a three year agreement with Idea Cellular to offer its managed services in five telecom circles including Mumbai, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, North East, and Assam. Under this agreement, Ericsson will be responsible for managing Idea Cellular’s network and field operations, operation and maintenance activities for 2G and 3G networks, network design and planning, network performance improvement, and program management for infrastructure. Previously, Ericsson had signed an agreement with Idea Cellular in 2007 to manage the Mumbai circle and it currently powers Idea’s online app store Idea Mall. Press Release
– Intel-Lava Mobiles: Intel has partnered with Lava Mobiles to launch an Intel-based smartphone called XOLO X900. Based on Intel’s Atom processor Z2460, XOLO X900 runs on Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ and features a 1.6 Ghz processor, a 4.03-inch high-resolution LCD touch screen, and front and rear cameras. Press Release
– Airtel: Bharti Airtel has appointed Nokia Siemens Networks to build and operate its 4G (TD-LTE) network in Maharashtra. Under this agreement, Bharti Airtel will deploy its TD-LTE network in the 2.3 GHz frequency band and Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver the TD-LTE network and end-user data devices that can provide data speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps). The service’s commercial launch is expected to happen later in the year. Press Release (PDF)