Michael Crane is a Senior VP at the San Francisco based company Golden Gate. But I know him from when he was also the SVP of mobile search company MCN. He bought me a lovely oyster lunch in San Francisco during CTIA and I asked him to blog about some of the Asian conferences that he attends.
This is what he had to say:
Silicon Valley hosts possibly the best weather on the planet in the fall, as well as some of the best tech conferences. Overshadowed by summer mega conferences, and the loud global heart-beat of technology readying for the holidays, October is a time for mini tech conferences. This weekend two of those took place (SVCWireless 2008 and Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association 2008 Conference). They may have been small…but the message, if you were listening, was LOUD and shrill…China is here NOW! I’ll report on one this week and the other next week. I attended both.
The SVC Wireless Show
The Silicon Valley-China Wireless Technology Association ( www.svcwireless.org ) held their annual meeting – the title was MICE (Mobility Innovative Competitive Evolution) towards an Open Ecosystem. Some very serious heavy hitters from China Mobile and other China based telecom firms attended and spoke.
While all the speakers were well prepared and interesting, I was most interested in what two specific speakers had to say.
Speaker 1: Bill Xizoqung Huang, President Institute of Research China Mobile
Bill told the crowd to not underestimate the power of China Mobile to make global waves. The tele density that 350,000 base stations and 1,500 switching centers have is unparalleled (by comparison all of Europe has rought 250,000) with a goal of 97% of the Chinese population being covered by 2010 and 100% within the next 5 years.
The pace of build out is staggering.
Speaker 2: Mobile and Peide Luo, Executive Secretary-General, China Mobile Communications Association
Mr. Luo said China Mobile will add more than 500 million subscribers growing to over 900 million by 2013. The remaining 400 million Chinese will be split among the other two operators. The Government wants 95 percent penetration by then.
However, the real news, in my opinion, came with this comment: LTE is the next GSM. Why is this important? Essentially, and this isn’t tea leaf reading, China Mobile is failing with TD-SCDMA and will rush to deploy LTE…thereby skipping any significant 3G roll-out…net net…if this is true LTE will be the global standard for 4G.
Mr. Luo gave a very good presentation that was full of fantastic information…one particular segment that is important for everyone to know is what he called the 3 Pillars of Future in China.
1. Mobile Internet
2. Mobile TV
3. Mobile Payments
He also had a number of key points for everyone to know…I can paraphrase them here…
The Chinese are undergoing the greatest mobile expansion, and revolutionary technology adoptions of mobile technologies the planet has ever seen…it’s time to climb aboard that train”
One – liners I heard that are more than worth noting:
Browsers kill WAP, OS kills Apps” – Tim Chang, Principal, Norwest Venture Partners:
“MediaTek is Nokia’s worst nightmare” – Tim Chang
What we think? – Yes and No…To big of a prediction. However, the soft underbelly of Nokia is their alliance on certain folks and their high cost of baseband chips. MediaTek. (Also watch mStar of Tiawan) is smoking hot right now and supplying baseband chip sets to Chinese white-box manufactures at prices so low…well, a phone can be costume jewelry vs. Nokia’s hope diamond transceiver.
“The mobile device will win the day in China” – Peide Luo
What we think? – Yes! My experience and knowledge of China trends matches this. Pay special attention to the importance of devices to individuals there and you will be ahead of the heard trying to get their widget or app deployed.
“CMMB is the defacto Standard in China for TV Broadcasting” – Peide Luo
What we think?: This is very important for the mobile and media industries…they will have this covering 300 cities by the end of this year.
“We are working closely with Google” – Peide Luo
What we think?: Not surprised, the open source idea of Android works perfectly for China…why? It’s not really open…get it.
“Symbian is dead” – Tim Chang
What we think?: Yes! I say “Put a fork in it”…rather…Er…chop stick.
China is serious business and is quietly making serious noise…