I was fortunate to be asked by the Atlanta Wireless Technology Forum to moderate an interesting evening with some mobile and wireless industry veterans on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at the Ravinia Club in Atlanta. The event was held to discuss their vision for what mobile and wireless will look like in 2011. We enjoyed presentations from individuals from Verizon Wireless, the Institute for Mobile Markets Research, McKinsey & Company, inCode Telecom Group, and Nielsen & Company. Here are the evening's highlights:
Presenter No. 1: Steven Leonard of Verizon Wireless
The first presenter was Steven Leonard, Regional Director for Wireless Data at Verizon Wireless. He shared a vision for their newest 4G wireless data offering called LTE (which stands for Long Term Evolution). Steven showed a slide that summarized the benefits of LTE for mobile users.
Benefits include higher throughput speeds up to 12M bps, low latency (which is important for voice over IP or VOIP), global standard (although not all at the same frequency), good in-building coverage because of the use of 700MHz instead of a higher frequency, and having licenses that will eventually cover the entire United States.
Expect LTE to be announced before the end of the year. However, it will generally only be available as USB modems for laptops before migrating to smartphones. Also, expect Verizon Wireless to announce usage-based pricing (both in quantity and speed).
Presenter No. 2: Dr. Phil Hendrix of the Institute for Mobile Markets Research
The second presenter was Dr. Phil Hendrix of the Institute for Mobile Markets Research. Phil focused his comments on the future of mobile commerce. He provided a slide that provided an excellent summary of the status of m-commerce, mentioning many of the major players.
Users are now about to do mobile shopping, transfer funds via the bank, obtain mobile rewards and coupons, book hotels and flights, and make payments-all using their mobile smartphone.
The new Isis announcement by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile intends to bring Near Field Communication (NFC) into future phones so your smartphone can truly become a smartwallet. You'll be able to select the debit or credit account you want to use and then just tap the NFC-enabled terminals that are now widely available in retail.