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.
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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.
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Ready or not, here comes 4G
The GSMA has helped bring the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) 4G wireless network technology to market.
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$1 trillion in 2013 revenues
The mobile industry is big and getting bigger. Carriers, also called operators, have to spend big money to stay involved, Conway said.
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China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou
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.
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China Mobile: Beware the dumb pipe
China Mobile's Wang warned that mobile companies risk becoming "dumb pipes"--mere suppliers of bits--if they don't invest in new services to keep customer relationships.
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China Mobile embraces Wi-Fi
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.
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Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao speaks at Mobile World Congress.
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RCS sales pitch: a smarter contact list
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.
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America Movil CEO Daniel Hajj
America Movil CEO Daniel Hajj said advanced smartphones are becoming more popular in Latin America now that the prices have dropped by a third compared to early high-end models.
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Growing Latin American market
Latin American mobile services customers are rapidly growing in number, Hajj said.
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Data services arrive in Latin America
Data services, central to smartphone use in the developed world, are coming to less wealthy parts of Latin America, too, Hajj said.
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Telefonica CEO Cesar Alierta
Telefonica CEO Cesar Alierta speaks at Mobile World Congress.
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Telefonica's Alierta calls for regulatory reform
Alierta suggested that it's not fair that telecommunication companies are subject to regulatory oversight when other parts of the mobile market aren't.
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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
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AT&T promotes Web apps
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.
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AT&T's Stephenson calls for less reguation
Stephenson, repeating a point many of his peers also made at Mobile World Congress, called for a "light touch" by regulators.
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Mobile operator top brass
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.