This week I travelled to the beautiful town of Karlskrona in Sweden to attend and speak (have a look at the slides) at the Telecomcity CatWalk09. There were many topics covered at this industry event, here is a highlight of the ones that I found most relevant:


MOCOM 2020

MOCOM 2020 is a think tank looking into what mobile media will look like in 2020. I was very impressed by the video they screened at Catwalk09, and I found it to be quite inspiring. Here it is:

4G – Broadband for the whole of Sweden

Magnus Zetterberg – CTO, Telenor Sverige- presented his vision of Broadband in all homes through 4G Mobile broadband.

Sweden has a geographical challenge that makes it difficult to reach all homes with fiber/cable-based broadband.

Telenor is planning to address this problem by providing a 4G network with enough bandwidth phase out fix/DSL lines across the country. They aim to achieve it by sharing their allocated frequency set with another mayor Swedish operator, this will provide them with enough network spectrum to ensure high download speeds for all their subscribers.

App Shops

It became quite obvious during the 2 days, that platform fragmentation is creating a new breed of obstacle for developers – The App Shop. With every manufacturer, operator and large development company racing to compete/replicate the Apple App Store, cross platfrom developers are facing a distribution channel nightmare for their products.

Although no generic solution was offered at Catwalk, I was pretty pleased that this validates the Symbian Horizon efforts. Definitely we are on the right track!

Good times ahead

I came back from Catwalk09  excited about what the future of mobile communications will bring to Europe within the next few years. Also, pleasantly surprised by the “early adopter” attitude of operators in the scandic region. All and all, well worth the trip!

The football transfers market and the Symbian Foundation

Ok, so lets be upfront, I am a FC Barcelona supporter since I can remember. I guess the strange thing is that I am the only one of my family the follows footie.

Anyhow, today I am not going to gloat on the achievements of the last season, but I would like to compare Mardrid and Barcelona’s approach to building their teams. They are without a doubt 2 of the biggest teams in Europe, with 2 very different approaches to developing a successful business .

Real Madrid, as it is clear from the summer transfers market, concentrates in buying players that will bring big publicity contracts with them and with a proven sporting achievement record on their backs. This comes at a high price, 96 millon euros in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo and 65 for Kaka. Real Madrid uses this tactic to fill in key positions on the team backbone, the players bought are expected to deliver the clubs sporting objectives, and beyond Raul and Casillas not many youth team players achieve the “galactico” label.

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In Denial? It is only human…

Before I joined the Symbian Foundation, I was working on improvement programme for Nokia. During that time, I learned and observed the impact of change in people.

Theory says that a person normally goes through 4 stages/moods before it fully embraces the change. The first two stages consist of denial: either that the change exist all together or that, even when we accept its existence, it is going to impact us at all. This is also true of communities migrating from a close to an open source model.

While, technical changes are easier to accept, the hardest challange remains in encouraging ‘once upon a time’ customers to now be equally responsible for the development of the platform and reminding suppliers that are no longer bound by SLAs, only by common sense.

In a way, that is probably why open source projects with one major member contributor and many users, that limit their collaboration to minor updates, seem easier to accept (maybe because they feel more familiar). However, what are we really trying to achieve by going open source? Will this really unleash platform innovation?

The next stage to denial is exploration. When you start asking yourself what opportunities I can seize if I jump deep into this change. Is it possible that by investing some resources into improving the Symbian Platform I can open up larger opportunities for me and my company?

Start planning what contributions you need to make in order to enable your business model. You can not assume that someone else is going to do it for you, as everyone scratches their own “itch”. You can hope that you will find common ground with other contributors, allowing you to share the “scratching” cost. Recognising the advantage to the community of coordinating “scratching” efforts, the Symbian Foundation has set-up a centralise Release Management and Planning function. We are a growing team of 4, currently working towards building delivery plans for Symbian^2 and Symbian^3.

I guess the last stage is when the change feels so natural that you can not even imagine how you use to survive doing things the “old” way.