BARCELONA, Spain--GSMA CEO Robert Conway opened a series of keynote talks by telecom industry powers at the Mobile World Congress here. As head of an industry consortium that has established unified network standards across Europe, it's no surprise to hear he's bullish on the industry.
GSMA CEO Robert Conway said near-field communications (NFC), a technology that allows a phone to be used for wireless electronic payments when waved near a payment station, is destined for greatness and has the support of many new companies.
China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou, speaking at Mobile World Congress, advocated an "open system" that didn't lock handset makers, Internet companies, app store operators, and mobile carriers into vertical alliances.
To keep up with burgeoning data demands, China Mobile will install a million Wi-Fi access points to offload overtaxed mobile networks, Wang said. Wi-Fi needs to be a default option in phones and easier to use, he said.
The RCS-e specification, short for Remote Communication Suite, eases interactions such as video chatting, texting, or file sharing among contacts who have compatible services. Mobile operators plan to launch RCS-e services this year.
HTML, the Hypertext Markup Language used to construct Web sites and increasingly Web applications as well, is crucial to reach many devices. Central to the idea as AT&T sees it is WAC, the Wholesale Applications Community that aims to deliver Web apps to a variety of devices without relying on app stores from companies like Google or Apple or on phone-specific interfaces. Eight operators and five phone makers have signed up for WAC.
From left to right: Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe, Telefonica CEO Cesar Alierta, America Movil CEO Daniel Hajj, China Telecom CEO Wang Jianzhou, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.