The rumor mill is churning out expected encounters, with droves of bankers walking the exhibit floor here in Barcelona as well as plenty of M&A that should shake out in the aftermath. Despite the troubles we in the press had finding a place to plug in our Ethernet cords once the press lounge closed this afternoon--yep, a wireless conference with no working WiFi for the press--the rest of the conference seemed to hum with activity as it comes to a slow stop. Here are the scoops:
Microsoft bought a mobile search company called MotionBridge that's based in France, which compliments the Google/Vodafone deal from earlier in the week. Mobile search is one of the big stories coming out of this conference. Since it's an enabling app for mobile content, its uptake seems warranted just before we jump into the abyss of mobile content out there.
Tekelec's Mark Whittier took me through his company's strategy of monetizing the transition period from now until IMS becomes widespread--and helping operators maintain cost points in the process. Although IMS has been met by some serious skepticism here and there, most folks see it as an inevitability. As Mark said, "We will wake up tomorrow and the sun will rise and it will shine on IMS." FMS is one of the apps that Tekelec is pushing to move toward IMS, but the entire migration of a network onto IMS is a generational thing.
I also met with I-play's CEO David Gosen. He said the spotlight on mobile TV at 3GSM is warranted and exciting but pointed out that after SMS, mobile gaming is the big revenue generator for carriers. Along with that, I-play launched a mobile game version of the TV show '24.' Gosen then explained the difficult balance mobile gaming companies need to maintain when licensing content for mobile games: license at haste, repent at leisure. If you get an exclusive license to make a mobile game based on something, you better get it right, but you also need a strong set of original content too, he said.
Samsung's party at the hotel Rey Juan Carlos was classy yet still full of stilt walkers and street performers. I met some strategists with Samsung and a few execs from European operators like KPN. Thanks to everyone for the kind words about FierceWireless and also for being flexible in the midst of such a busy show. See you all at CTIA. - Brian