Orange CEO Stephane Richard said last night it was now time for operators to invest in their networks.
The demand for high speed (fixed and mobile) broadband and the potential opportunities for new services (payments were singled out for particular mention) were given as the key drivers. Steven Hartley, practice leader of Ovum's Telco Strategy Practice, thought it was "an upbeat and go-getting speech that matched the first day of the event."
"Richard highlighted that he was not there to complain but talk about a digital, connected future. This suggests a growing maturity in the operator's response to the challenges they face. Gone is the rhetoric of 'them and us' regarding content providers and technology choices that tainted last year's event. In its place is a more measured response.
"A clear example of this came when CTO Thierry Bonhomme stated later in the evening that deploying Wi-Fi was as important as rolling out LTE. Orange has made no secret of its fondness for Wi-Fi over the years, but combining this statement with the prevalence of Wi-Fi announcements at MWC 2012 is testimony to the fact that it is no longer Wi-Fi 'or' cellular, but Wi-Fi 'and' cellular that is key to operators handling future traffic demands."
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