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MWC: Intel, Cisco map mobile future

The CEOs of Intel and Cisco this week at the Mobile World Congress highlighted how the mobile Internet is driving fundamental changes in the mobile industry. Intel CEO, Paul Otellini spoke about technology and politics while the Cisco CEO said video is key to changing the way consumers and businesses communicate.

The CEOs of Intel and Cisco this week highlighted how the mobile Internet is driving fundamental changes in the mobile industry, business, individual lifestyles and society at large.

‚I would not have thought that technology would change politics or democracy. But it changed the American electoral cycle, it just changed two countries and it’s not going to stop there. It’s a liberating technology,‚ said Intel’s Paul Otellini in a keynote this week. ‚So who’s going to win? Mankind is going to win.‚

During a Congress dominated by the news of the alliance between Nokia and Microsoft, when asked what he said to Steve Elop during the now-infamous telephone conversation on Thursday 10 February, Otellini said: ‚I understood why they did it. I guess if I were in the same position, I would have made the same, or similar, call.‚ But, he warned: ‚You change your company when you do these things and you change peoples’ lives. One shouldn’t do these things quickly or capriciously. I think they need to be thought out.‚

Noting a parallel with the computing industry, Otellini observed: ‚What you are seeing is the last fully integrated phone manufacturer become horizontal.‚ More positively, he concluded: ‚The net result is that over time you will see more innovation, more competition and more players.‚

Cisco’s John Chambers, picked up on theme of industries in transition. ‚Each time a transition happens, you have to bet five to ten years before it’s obvious, or you miss your window,‚ he said, before recalling the incredulity that greeted Cisco when, at Comdex in 1997, the company predicted all-in-one data-voice-video networks.

Chambers is convinced that video provides the key to encouraging consumers and enterprises to pay more by fundamentally changing the way they communicate. ‚If you can drive productivity by one to two percent a year, you don’t need to ask how you charge for that as a service provider,‚ he said. ‚It won’t be 60 percent of loads on networks five years out that will be visual. It will be 80-90 percent . Everything you do will have visual capability.‚

During questions, the speakers agreed that a step-change in battery technology is long overdue. Otellini suggested that anyone investing in a successful silicon-based solution would make a fortune. He also revealed that Intel’s labs are already capable of powering a lamp using wireless electricity. He thinks the technology might start to appear commercially in around five years.

– Story courtesy Mobile World Congress Show Daily

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