The post-Valentine’s Day mood stayed downright friendly at Day Two of Mobile World Congress, as partnerships and alliances dominated the show chatter.

But are Machiavelli or Pollyanna guiding the mobile operators in attendance?

Certainly, kissing up to old foes and mysterious strangers was the order of the day, according to Informa Telecoms & Media team analysis.

PARTNERSHIPS

  • QTel Group agreed to promote Skype products in Jordan and the Philippines via its broadband subsidiary wi-tribe. If successful, the deal could extend to all 17 markets in the Middle East, Africa and south-east Asia where the Qatar-based group is building traction.
  • Vodafone and Intel united to target M2M. The firms will team up to target vertical applications including smart grid, building automation and automotive using Intel’s processor know-how and Vodafone’s network and service expertise. The partnership comes only days after Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom also announced an M2M tie up.
  • Gemalto and iPass allied to boost global WiFi coverage. The alliance should offer one-click secure access to more than 260,000 hotspots worldwide. As we predicted, WiFi is gaining importance not only for data offload, but also for broadband service enhancement.
  • MegaFon joined the FreeMove alliance. The Russian carrier joins Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, TeliaSonera and Telecom Italia to deliver seamless enterprise mobility services to multinationals.

CAPEX COMMITMENTS

  • Telstra signed with Ericsson to launch LTE. Australia’s first integrated 1800MHz LTE and HSPA 42Mbps network should be available in business districts and some regional centers by late 2011.
  • Etisalat selected Alcatel-Lucent for its LTE launch. The UAE-based operator aims for commercial launch to begin next month.
  • China Mobile committed to build 1 million WiFi hotspots over the next three years. WiFi will be the primary and default network for data usage in high density areas.
  • Verizon, Ericsson and Samsung paired up to demonstrate Voice over LTE. VoLTE will support enhanced voice services, although Informa Telecoms & Media believes that voice call fallback issues will take time to resolve.

DEVICES

  • HTC launched Facebook phones. The vendor unveiled six devices, but the ChaCha and Salsa with their integrated Facebook buttons and functionality stole the limelight – and could take the Taiwanese vendor into a new demographic – if it can manage component supply. Besides five Android phones, HTC also showed its five-inch Flyer tablet.
  • Huawei revealed its Android-based tablet. The Chinese powerhouse showed off its Ideos Slim S7, a seven-inch device, but also showed its Ideos X3 smartphone, featuring the front and back cameras that are set to become standard features on the device market.

CONTENT & APPS

  • NEC announced Cloud in your Pocket. The Japanese integrator boosted its telco cloud enablement credentials with software that allows mobille users to work offline then sync to the cloud. The solution should help operators differentiate their cloud solutions by enriching mobile and fixed service access.
  • Twitter revealed how it could make money. Paying to prioritize hot topics from brands like auto maker Audi was one revenue-generating method disclosed.
  • Syniverse announced a white label mobile video service delivered to KT that works across 3G and 4G networks and associated devices.

SOUNDBITES

  • The idea that you can do innovation within your own four walls is dead - Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent
  • When you develop and launch a service, you have to leave room for organic magical things to happen - Kevin Thau, Head of Twitter Mobile Products and Partnerships
  • Standards are like grandma’s chicken soup recipe: They do no harm, but they also do no good -Hugh Bradlow, CTO, Telstra
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