/>
X
Tech

Mobile enterprise? you gotta be kidding!

I have been surprised at how few substantial business applications were on display at the Mobile World Congress. While 'edge' cases like myself would like to believe mobile applications will take on significance, it seems the mobile phone industry is way behind the innovation curve.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

I have been surprised at how few substantial business applications were on display at the Mobile World Congress. While 'edge' cases like myself would like to believe mobile applications will take on significance, it seems the mobile phone industry is way behind the innovation curve. According to industry analyst Dean Bubley operators have a tough sell into the enterprise because it requires a fundamentally different mindset from that which is normally focused on selling handsets and minutes of airtime: "There are very few operators who understand the business of business regulation, compliance and working with IT. RIM (with its Blackberry range) is the only company that has really been successful behind the firewall."

Referencing Qik, the real time video startup, I asked Mr. Bubley whether applications like this would likely make an impact in sectors such as public safety or insurance. While he agreed there is genuine utility, he said: "While the insurance industry might like the idea, the minute you think government, a ton of legal issues spring up."

Asked whether emerging markets like Africa, India and Brazil are likely to take the step straight into mobile working via handheld devices rather than the PC or laptop, Mr. Bubley was unequivocal: "I hear a lot of rubbish talked about this. Mobile handsets are still relatively expensive for these nations so what would you rather do - have everyone in a village with mobile phones or share a laptop that has a USB GPRS modem? People forget that in emerging nations, economic choices need to be made. There are better things to spend money on than handsets."

Editorial standards