Huge opportunities remain for mobile operators to boost their connection numbers, said Deutsche Telekom's CEO, Rene Obermann, claiming that the view of the mobile market being saturated is wrong.
"We've just scratched the surface," said the bullish Obermann last week, asserting that the number of connected devices would jump from the 1.2 to 1.3 per head of population seen today to between 10 and 20 in the years to come.
"There is no reason to connect a camera to a PC to send pictures, why not send pictures directly from a camera," Obermann asked, pointing to a potential example.
While M2M applications such as the above have been cited by many as the way forward, the initial market for M2M is being seen as smart metering, or smart grids. Other application sectors, such as smart homes, automobile insurance, vending machines, etc., are seen by many observers of being in danger of becoming overhyped.
Separately, Obermann also stressed that the company remained committed to the US market, as seen by the US$10 billion invested in the past three years and the promise to continue to invest billions of dollars in the coming years. The mobile internet will grow faster in the U.S. than elsewhere, he added.
Regardless of this upbeat assessment, T-Mobile USA--once the growth engine of Deutsche Telekom, has struggled to perform for some quarters, leading to growing speculation that it would spin off or sell its U.S. operations.
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