MWC 2010 – The Perfect Rock Show

The buzz was in the air as 49,000 people from 200 countries gathered in Barcelona last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the mobile industry. Packed halls, long lunch queues, late night parties, busy meeting calendars, new product launches and controversies were all there and present in full force. Data-talk led the charge and was everywhere from panels to presentations, from the Show Daily to demos! Varied perspectives, a variety of solutions and diverse opinions were all shared, mostly centered on mobile broadband data. Clearly, the exa-flood has arrived!

Talk of the town:

  • Capacity, Capacity, Capacity: In every data-centric discussion the topic of augmenting capacity made its way. From base stations to backhaul, a variety of problems were discussed. And everyone wanted to lower cost/bit. Not surprising, both LTE and femtocells were leading contenders as solutions to the problem and our LTE Femtocell reference design was right in the midst of it all.
  • Offloading: From Internet offload to WiFi offload, offloading was the new buzz for network infrastructure. Rapid data growth, limited spectrum and flat-rate plans all put together have created the perfect storm for offloading networks. From RAN offloading to WiFi all the way to Core Network offloading to the Internet, everyone wants to offload their networks and they want to offload them NOW. But remember, shaping and offloading don’t mix well…
  • SON: Self-Organizing Networking (SON) reminded me of ‘green’. In the last two years it seems everything has gone green from automobiles to refrigerators – really? And now in the wireless industry, everyone has SON. Not to miss out, we too took the covers off our eSON solution with partner AirHop and, not to brag about it too much, it suffices to say that ours is a fully ‘coordinated’ SON solution.
  • Net Neutrality: And then the controversial topic of Net Neutrality made its way too, actually at the highest levels as Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao brought it up, arguing for Tiered Level Services and deterministic quality of service and warning the industry about Googlopoly. And Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, admitted that it’s important for operators to deal with too much capacity and misuse of networks. Like it or not, as long as spectrum is limited this issue is not going away, and DPI holds the key – the debate has already shifted to how to use DPI, not whether to use it.

And then there were a few odd ‘solutions’ that were desperately in search of a problem – my favorite was ‘printing using femtocells’ – which was like a concert but in an empty Sydney Opera House with no one listening.

The litmus test for any firm at an event is always whether that company is relevant to the issues of the day. With our robust, timely solutions for the mobile broadband capacity challenge ranging from LTE to Femtocells and from DPI to 40G ATCA, MWC 2010 turned out to be the perfect venue for Continuous Computing’s big jam session.

Rock on, baby!
Manish

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