Mobile World Congress news: Day Three

Verizon Wireless announces LTE vendors: No Nortel - by Steven Hartley and Julien Grivolas, analysts

Verizon Wireless CTO Dick Lynch yesterday revealed the long-awaited winners for its LTE deployment contracts. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent are the radio access providers, with Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent providing an IMS layer to a Starent packet-core network.

Alcatel-Lucent must be breathing a huge sigh of relief. It has emerged as the main winner at Verizon Wireless, winning both radio and IMS elements. This puts the company, which has had a torrid time since the merger of Alcatel and Lucent, on a strong footing for future deals.

Ericsson's involvement is also interesting as it has not worked with Verizon Wireless in the past. Today's success suggests that Vodafone's influence may be at play. CEO Vittorio Colao has emphasized that global co-ordination will be key moving forward and this may be a first sign.

The key loser is Nortel, which seems to have suffered from poor timing. It has a relationship with Verizon Wireless and a strong technology offering in this space. However, Verizon Wireless is clearly looking for a long-term relationship and entering Chapter 11 protection is certainly not conducive to that.

Finally, Starent's involvement is another indication that this strong player in the core network domain is well positioned for LTE migration. Its experience in CDMA and expansion to UMTS, makes it a strong candidate for other CDMA operators seeking to migrate to LTE.

Mobile operators can lead the way out of the downturn - by Raymond Yu, analyst

Earlier this week, the heads of Vodafone, Telefonica and Telenor jointly communicated the message that mobile investment needs to continue despite the current economic conditions. The belief is that mobile telecoms can help the global economy overcome the credit crunch - and we agree. So far, mobile operators around the globe have adapted well to capture current demand for services. The economic conditions have meant that demand for mobile services are now more price-focused, so operators have employed measures such as offering more price competitive tariffs, pushing SIM-only and prepaid offerings to accommodate this change. As Cesar Alierta, executive chairman of Telefonica said, "Our success will come from providing the consumer with a much better experience based upon providing value."

Yet to be well-placed to cost-effectively capture future mobile demand it is important for MNOs to work together, as stressed by Vodafone's Vittorio Colao: "We should have a common technology roadmap, and look more closely at sharing towers and possibly fiber."

Yahoo! refines mass market mobile web vision - by Tony Cripps, principal analyst

The new Yahoo! Mobile application (which will be available in Q2 for most handsets, including Apple's iPhone) takes the basic elements from the popular Yahoo! Go application and expands them to finally include third-party web widgets and full web browsing (crucial for long-tail access and previously an oversight) via Opera Mini.

Yahoo!'s pragmatic approach to blending the web with the mobile phone may not enable it to compete directly with more tightly-integrated, and higher-end, user experiences from Google, Microsoft, Nokia and Apple.

However, with Yahoo!'s web properties attracting over half a billion unique users per month according to comScore, Yahoo! Mobile could prove a thorn in the side of similar offerings that rely on operator partnerships and revenue share deals to make them viable, such as Qualcomm's Plaza (and, potentially, Sun's JavaFX Mobile if it is developed this way).

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