Everything mobile in Europe is and will be fine. No, really!

Written by on December 10, 2015 in Opinion with 0 Comments

mobile missileIt is not very clear what we are meant to do with an Infographic like the one below. Essentially it says ‘in mobile, everything be fine.’ Subscribers will increase, it says. Mobile’s contribution to GDP will increase, it says. Capital expenditure will accelerate and all will be well. It comes with a smart little mission statement, too, which says ‘everything be fine.’

And the way it will be fine is through ‘a strong partnership agenda between EU institutions and industry.’

That’s fine then.

At a time of the most monumental upheaval and uncertainty in the mobile industry, it might have been helpful if they had provided a note or two on how they came to be able to paint this pretty, rosy picture.

Did they take into account, one wonders, the ever present threat of hacking, cyber warfare, device and operating system vulnerabilities?

Did they, you have to muse, factor in uncertainties as to whether Digital Service Providers (DSPs) are friends, foes or a bit of both?

Did they consider the practicalities of forging a ‘strong partnership between EU institutions and industry?’ From roaming regulations, that the last Commissioner managed not to implement, to privacy concerns, to the sheer power of players like Vodafone and Google. Do they really think that there is, or will be, a strong partnership, unless it suits Vodafone and Google? Do they think that ‘creating an environment of innovation around digital services and networks’ is a walk in the park? And when it ‘envisages an extensive overhaul of rules, policies and initiatives across the board,’ do they think that is the work of a moment, even a year? See what we mean?

Or did they, like Moody’s before them, just think, ‘well, data is on the increase, so everything is, er, fine. Let’s produce an Infographic.’

There is little doubt that the mobile market is pretty robust. There is also little doubt that the next couple of years are going to be very interesting ones.

There is, at least in the offices of DisruptiveViews, a rising feeling that there is a huge bubble that is about to burst. Already, in China, this is more than a feeling, as over-valued mobile companies fail to attract new investment that will take them to the next level – the level where they actually make money.

Let us hope we are wrong, but it is Infographics like this that tempt the boards of mobile companies into thinking that, well, everything is fine, look it says so.

And that, right now, is extraordinarily risky.

Here it is, complete with introduction:

‘Investing in mobile networks and meeting the goal of digitalising everything is key to realising its potential.

However, delivering the Digital Single Market is about far more than just connectivity. The Digital Single Market strategy recognises the need to remove online barriers for businesses and consumers, creating an environment of innovation around digital services and networks. It envisages an extensive overhaul of rules, policies and initiatives across the board.’
Mobile Economy Europe 2015

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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