September 13, 2012 Guvenc Kaplan

Not the Future, Today is Mobile

Ersu Ablak, Hurriyet Daily News, September 13, 2012

I am sure that you have heard people say the future is mobile before. We have been writing about it for a long time now. Mark Zuckerberg is the latest CEO on the mobile bandwagon that openly admits how he is planning to capitalize on mobile technologies. In his first public appearance after Facebook shares went stumbling down, he talked about mobile. The social network is staking its future on mobile devices, but he admitted that he bet on the wrong technology to get there. For every “person who’s using Facebook on mobile, there’s more engagement and they’re spending more time,” Zuckerberg said during an interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. “We think we’ll make a lot more money than on the desktop.” According to Sfgate.com Facebook has previously said its future is in mobile devices, an obvious strategy because more than half of the social network’s 950 million members around the world – Zuckerberg included – now rely on smartphones or tablets.

When Facebook turns to mobile applications it will greatly affect our lives. However there is more to mobile than smartphones. Naturally, Zuckerberg thinks that the real mobile age will begin when Facebook learns how to use it properly, but there are many decent firms that have been tapping this technology for a long time in the simplest devices.

At the Bilişim Zirvesi 2012 held by Interpro in Istanbul, Telenity received the grand prize. Telenity, a provider of service delivery, location-based services, social media, mobile marketing and messaging platforms and solutions, announced today that it has received first place at the ICT Summit Eurasia 2012 Awards. Telenity was awarded this prestigious prize for its Canvas Location-based Social Networking Solution deployed as a managed service in the networks of the top two leading mobile operators in India. In addition to partnering with the mobile operators on the testing, launch and marketing of the location-based services across a combined subscriber base of 295 million, Telenity also collaborated with multiple local digital map vendors in order to provide location-based services and points-of-interest information. On behalf of Telenity, İlhan Bagoren, chief executive officer, received the award from Taha Yucel, vice president of RTUK (Radio and Television Supreme Council) of Turkey at the ICT Summit Eurasia Awards Ceremony held on Sept. 11, 2012 in Istanbul. “In emerging markets, many subscribers still do not have access to smartphones or rich data plans. Telenity is dedicated to developing innovative services that are accessible by even the most basic phones and services that both enhance the user experience and operator profitability,” said Bagoren. “This award is a testament of our commitment to developing and deploying solutions that meet the diverse needs of our customers globally.”

Somewhat similarly, conventional approaches to data subscriber acquisition in 3G and/or 4G/LTE involve non-targeted advertisement to end users with specified handsets, demographics, or consumer profiles. What is not taken into account however is the quality of coverage and data connectivity. As a result, even if the acquisition may take place on paper, there is considerable risk in that the newly acquired users with poor coverage will soon churn out.

There are hundreds of mobile applications and many firms like Telenity that touch the daily lives of people around the world. In many regions of Africa where there is absolutely no broadband connection, farmers are using smart applications to sell their crops for better prices. Yes, maybe Zuckerberg can claim that the future is mobile for Facebook, but for the rest of the world, mobile is already our lives.