Mobile Future

Qualcomm Execs Discuss Future of Mobile

Day Two of the CTIA WIT&E conference opened with insights from Qualcomm Co-founder Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs and Chairman and CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs. The father-and-son Jacobs team sat down with CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent to discuss past, present, and future perspectives on the industry.
 
The issue of spectrum came up quickly, as it did yesterday during FCC Chairman Genachowski’s remarks. “We’ve more or less maxed out on spectral efficiency,” said Dr. Paul Jacobs, noting that networks will need new devices and business models to increase capacity and avoid the “looming spectrum crisis” that Genachowski predicted Wednesday.
 
The forward-looking discussion focused on highly-anticipated industry developments.  Dr. Paul Jacobs said he hoped phones would soon “act as a digital sixth sense” for better understanding surrounding environments and said he’s most excited about advancements in the fields of energy and education. His father echoed this statement, adding that he hopes educators will soon view mobile devices as teaching tools to “supplement and extend the school system and curriculum.” Dr. Irwin Jacobs also predicted that soon students will be downloading text books on electronic readers, complete with color screens and video applications.
 
The elder Dr. Jacobs also said he hoped to see a remedy for forgetting names in the form of face-recognition software tied to the smartphone contact list.
 
With good reason, the Drs. Jacobs both expressed great optimism about the future of the wireless industry. Yesterday CTIA announced the findings of its semi-annual industry survey, which highights the industry’s continued positive growth and popularity.
 
According to the survey, wireless data service revenues climbed to more than $19.4 billion for the first half of 2009 – a 31% increase over the first half of 2008. Additionally, wireless data revenues were more than 25% of all wireless service revenues.  The results also show that more than 246 million data-capable devices are in the hands of consumers today.
 
Perhaps the most eye-catching survey finding: more than 740 billion text messages were sent during the first half of 2009. That’s  4.1 billion messages per day, nearly double the number from this time last year.
 
For the complete survey information, visit: http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10316.