News release

Date: 18th June 2012

Cambridge Wireless urges mobile operators to innovate urgently to compete with OTT brands

Future of Wireless International Conference 2012 puts ‘Reshaping of the Mobile Industry’ under the spotlight

18 June 2012: “Operators must innovate now or they will lose out to new ‘Over The Top’ (OTT) web and digital media brands such as Facebook, Google, Skype and Twitter,” warns Dr. David Cleevely FREng FIET, Chairman of Cambridge Wireless, ahead of the 4th Future of Wireless International Conference on 26 & 27 June. “There is already more innovation than ever in the wireless sector with new smartphones, apps and connected devices. However, operators themselves are rarely the source of this innovation or the main beneficiaries and now need to move quickly to harness the new wireless ecosystem if they are to compete and survive,” adds Cleevely.
“The wireless industry has created the most successful and ubiquitous platform in human history by enabling people, ideas and information to be connected together anytime, anywhere,” says Peter Whale, Director of Product Management at Qualcomm and Board Member of Cambridge Wireless, the leading independent wireless business and technology community. “We are now at a critical moment where all the industry players need to innovate further and faster and be creative with their business models.”
The conference will host some 300 senior wireless industry executives from across the world to focus on the ‘Reshaping of the Mobile Industry’. “As well as examining the way the industry is changing and the pressures this is placing on incumbent players, the conference will also look at the opportunities presented by change and the importance for organisations of all types, sizes and backgrounds to work together and drive the industry forward,” adds Peter Whale.
Keynote speakers will include Olaf Swantee, CEO at Everything Everywhere, Joe Barrett, Senior Director of Marketing, European Innovation Development at Qualcomm, Paul Taylor, Engineering Manager at Google, Matthew Postgate, Head of R&D at the BBC and Professor Christopher Lowe from the University of Cambridge.
Most new value in the wireless industry is being driven by consumer migration toward integrated content and low-cost or free mobile services delivered by OTT brands. A recent study by Ovum suggests that social messaging apps cost network operators around £8.6bn in lost SMS revenues in 2011 and while operators joined forces at Mobile World Congress to launch a new messaging service called Joyn, consumers are still expected to pay for something they can get for free. More recently, Telefonica launched an app that allows smartphone users to make calls and send messages without using up their quota of call minutes or texts saying that they would, "rather keep the customer than lose them to other products and services".
“Network operators need to do a rethink,” says David Cleevely. “Mobile devices and the global wireless infrastructure may have revolutionised the lives of billions of people, but it is an increasingly tough business today being a handset manufacturer or network operator. At the conference we’ll be emphasising the continued need to focus on innovation – both in technology and business models - and on creating customer value.”
The 2012 Future of Wireless International Conference at The Møller Centre and Churchill College Cambridge will also include exhibition zones along with hands-on workshops, facilitated brainstorms and plenary sessions. Next generation wireless start-ups will be showcasing their innovative ideas in the Start-Up Zone and the five winners from the Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-Ups 2011 competition will pitch to the full conference at the Innovation Hothouse.

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Cambridge Wireless is grateful for the support from conference partners, UK Trade and Investment and ICTKTN, and its sponsors: Qualcomm, Anite, Cambridge Consultants, Rohde & Schwarz, Broadcom, The Technology Partnership (TTP), IC-Group, Aeroflex, Arkessa, Jaltek Group, Agilent Technologies, Otaniemi Marketing (Finland), Olswang and the Canadian High Commission (which includes representatives from British Columbia, Ontario International Marketing Centre, Alberta and Invest Quebec)

About Cambridge Wireless
Cambridge Wireless is a leading industry forum and vibrant community with a rapidly expanding network of companies actively involved in the development and application of wireless technologies. In addition to high level networking dinners and events, a strong educational programme and business development activities, Cambridge Wireless runs the annual Future of Wireless International Conference along with the prestigious Discovering Start-Ups programme and competition to support emerging, innovative wireless companies.

Over 15 Special Interest Groups focused on specific technologies and market sectors, also provide opportunities for members to meet, form partnerships to exploit new commercial opportunities, and share knowledge and information about the latest industry trends and hot topics. Cambridge Wireless has partnerships with other leading industry clusters and organisations around the world to extend its international reach and to keep members up to date with the latest global developments and business opportunities. For more information, please visit

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