Innovations and Award winners lead the way

2012-03-01 07:53

The MWC 2012 Awards are done and dusted. Some of the outstanding winners are:

Best Mobile App for Consumers

Rovio Entertainment Ltd. for Angry Birds Rio

For the second year running Rovio has won this award and it’s no real surprise with the game continuing to be top of the download charts.

Judges’ Choice - Best Overall Mobile App

WhatsApp Inc. for WhatsApp

A change from the 2011 winner, which was RIM/Blackberry’s BBM instant messaging service

Best Consumer Mobile Service

Google for Google Maps for Android

Also for the second year running

Best Smartphone

Samsung for Samsung Galaxy S II

Taking this crown from Apple who one with the iPhone 4 in 2011

Best Feature Phone or Entry Level Phone

Nokia for Nokia C3-00

A new category for 2012 and sure to be repeated in 2013

Device Manufacturer of the Year

Samsung

Taking this crown from HTC who won this award in 2011

Best Mobile Tablet

Apple for Apple iPad 2

For the full list of winners, please see www.globalmobileawards.com.

In terms of The Best Infrastructure Award (that I judged), it was a tight affair with the eventual winner decided by judges final vote after two outstanding entrants were tied post two exhaustive rounds.

Eventually standing out and taking honours, was Alcatel-Lucent who won the award for their Light Radio device. This is a revolutionary product in the Telecoms space because of its size and efficiency and a very just winner for this category.

More insights

I attended several briefings on Wednesday and two stood out in particular – Comviva and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

Comviva - offers mobile operators the ability to increase loyalty and revenue growth. Mayank Sharma, Vice President for Comviva’s African region, shared some notable innovations specifically aimed at African operators that included Comviva’s HOLA! App.

HOLA! allows operators to create additional value for users by enabling them access to social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, a full suite of email services; web feeds and other relevant applications over their mobile phone either through a client application, SMS or USSD. This is vital for the African market where smartphone penetration is still low. HOLA! gives access to smartphone-like features and services through its JAVA based app.

Dimitri Diliani, African Head for Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), the infrastructure provider, spoke about NSN’s strategy for Africa that is now 100% focused on the mobile broadband market in Africa. Discussion centered around Long Term Evolution (LTE), a 4G technology which according to Diliani, we should see begin to penetrate Africa in the next six months.

I’m not so sure this will include South Africa as the regulator appears asleep on the actual allocation and timeline for the auction of this spectrum. However some governments in Africa are moving ahead with assistance to accommodate the mobile operators by building national LTE infrastructure and then leasing this infrastructure back to the operators.

This is one possible solution that may even encourage infrastructure sharing, which will ultimately benefit everyone. Sharing is caring and examples currently in existence, include tower companies like, Helios Tower, American Towers and Eaton Towers.

All the current 3G infrastructure that NSN is rolling out across Africa is LTE ready. This means they are currently 3G operational but with a software upgrade they can easily be converted to LTE enabled units.

However, even though Africa is gearing to embrace the new generation, 2G units are still out selling 3G units in Africa.

As MWC 2012 draws to a close after what can only be described as a manic hamster on a treadmill training for the Comrades week, I am waiting on confirmation of a surprise guest interview that I hope to be able to share with you tomorrow.

Que tengas un dia magnifico

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