Olè, the FierceWireless party last night, was a huge hit. We had over 925 attendees literally lining up around the block to get in. In case you missed it--or if you just need to relive the excitement--here is a rundown of what happened.
Entertainment at Olè was provided by Latin jazz maestro Julius Melendez, a bandmate of Carlos Santana, and live flamenco and salsa dancers. Several attendees joined the dancers on the floor, grooving to the rhythms for much of the night.
As I waded through our packed party, I had the chance to scoop some great industry gossip. While I cannot substantiate this rumor, I did learn from one source that Jeff Bezos of Amazon is supposedly interviewing key leaders in the wireless industry. It seems Bezos has even been talking to some mobile phone designers about jobs at his company. Is Amazon planning to launch an MVNO? We will have to wait and see.
As for other gossip, content aggregators are scared that they are going to be squeezed out of the mobile marketplace. It seems my comments earlier this week about the possible death of aggregators sent one company into a hissy fit. Aggregators realize their time is up and most are scrambling to find some kind of way to add value to their companies. Most are trying to beef up their services, offloading more content management from the carrier networks to their own systems. I don't know if this approach will work, especially since many vendors are eager to give carriers solutions and network that solve most of these issues while allowing the carriers to keep more money from their content sales.
The third thing I learned last night is that many in the industry, including a few carriers, are becoming more skeptical about the MVNO model. While Virgin Mobile is a runaway hit, the rest of the MVNOs are not doing anywhere near as well, and a few already flamed out. That's not going to stop the coming stampede of MVNO services--some analysts are predicting as many as 12 new major branded wireless services in the next 12 months--but it shows that this model may not be the long-term trend many are predicting.
I want to thank everyone who came to Ole last night. Thank you all for making our party such a huge hit. And finally, I want to thank our sponsors--entriq, Sybase, Narus, mBlox and sms.ac--for helping to make this party possible. - Stephen