|Issue:||Asia-Pacific II 2008|
|Topic:||From wireless to where?|
|Organisation:||Nokia South-East Asia-Pacific|
Chris Carr is the Vice President, Sales at Nokia South-East Asia-Pacific. He is responsible for the business performance, customer engagement and sales in Australia, New Zealand, Emerging Asia (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives), Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia). In his previous role, Mr Carr was General Manager of Nokia Singapore. Since joining the company, Mr Carr has worked in a variety of roles in both Asia and Europe – as a Management Accountant, as a company controller, as the Finance Director for the Network business group for Asia-Pacific and as the Asia-Pacific Finance Director for the device business. Chris Carr holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, majoring in Finance.
Telecommunications – especially mobile – is rapidly surpassing anything we imagined, even the science fiction of a few years ago. The PC is no longer the only way to connect with the Internet. Indeed, for many people a mobile phone connection to the Net will be the only way they ever connected or will ever connect. The power of the Internet will be increasingly found in the pockets of people around the world in devices that add value to people’s lives.
If the science-fiction movies and novels were to be believed, then by now we should have done away with the need for roads as we zip around in our flying cars, popping meals on the go in the form of food pellets. And while flying cars and a diet of food pellets may be some years away yet, who could have imagined that we would take communication from the telegraph to e-mail? We can only wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would have made of modern mobile communications. Wired to wireless in Asia-Pacific The transition from wired to wireless made us all want to throw our hands up and shout ‘yes!’ to no-strings-attached access to our information, our contacts, our connections. In the past decade alone we have seen mobile devices shrink in size but grow in features and functionality. Mobile devices today offer us a way to experience life and engage and connect with others in an unprecedented manner. Here’s an interesting fact: a huge number of people will get their very first experience of the Internet through their mobile; a stunning notion for those of us who grew up with phones with a dial that did little more than connect you to another person, so you could speak. Today you can choose from a mind-boggling array of options in the way you connect with people and access information and many people who may never be able to afford a PC will not be left behind, with the power of the Internet being placed directly in their hands, with them always, through mobile phones. These rapid changes in the way we communicate with others and connect to information is nowhere more evident than in the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly in the emerging markets which will account for some of the largest growth in telecommunications in the coming years. As the epicentre of the growth of the mobile telecommunications industry in the next few years, it is expected that by 2009, more than half of the new subscriber growth from three to four billion subscribers will come from Asia, particularly from China, as well as from emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Those of us in the business of connecting people know that the key to delivering the best user experiences that add value to people’s lives, lies in offering choice and simplicity. This is what drives innovation and leads us to the next destination on this revolutionary journey. Where next? The consumer base for the next wave of Internet and convergence-driven growth will be global, and it will transform individual organisations and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector as a whole. To a large extent, we have already arrived at that destination – the converged world. But we have arrived at a place where the landscape is changing daily, spurred by innovation and the demand of the user to not only have their information and connections on the go, but to have their world in the palms of their hands. We are now in the age of the ‘fourth screen’ – the mobile screen. Mobile devices are more than just a means to connect with people and information while on the go. We are in an age where the combined functionalities of portable, single-purpose devices are now converged into single multi-purpose mobile devices that are always with you and always connected. Multimedia computers are the optimal devices, enabling us to take part in the web 2.0 revolution. We can easily create and share experiences through online communities. Technologies like GPS, HSDPA, a 5-megapixel camera and navigation services also make for a powerful converged experience – in the palm of your hands. As we continue to demand highly personalised experiences of technology, the ‘one size fits all’ approach becomes obsolete. Consumers are going to seek new fusions that offer personalised layers of experience. Converged technologies will need to be flexible enough to address individualised needs. For example, for the adventurer who knows where he wants to be but does not know quite how to get there. He wants to document every step of his journey, and therefore wants a device that gives him maps, a camera and the ability to blog on the go. It is for the storyteller who wants to share her experiences with the people she loves through video technologies and easy access to online communities so she can share what is happening as it is happening. And let us not forget everyone making their way in a world that is moving forward at warp speed, where getting the information you need is only trumped by getting it exactly when you need it. Live news feeds and information services allow us to be on top of the developments that shape our worlds. This is particularly critical in business. Transforming business Today’s business workforce is more mobile than ever. Whether we are travelling to meet clients, visiting branch offices or commuting between work and home, we need to stay connected. Communications technology has been crucial to that shift and today it is possible to be in the office, no matter where you are. The next step in the evolution of the mobile workforce must be seamless access to the same information and systems as office-bound colleagues. Equal access lets mobile workers be as productive and effective as their office-bound colleagues while making sure they do not miss a step. The technology to open up access to corporate data and systems is becoming well established and mobile workers everywhere are eager to start using it. More and more people are requesting fast, remote access to everything from e-mail, contacts and calendars through to customer relationship management, resource planning and supply chain management systems. IT departments face numerous challenges related to security, cost of implementation and integration, managing complexity, future-proofing, adopting standards and acquiring adequate support. They need to adopt a holistic approach that involves looking at business impacts too; and they need to engage with professional service and support architects who work closely with businesses to identify needs, advise on implementation and integration, provide support at every stage of the roll-out and give ongoing guidance when needed. Powering emerging markets People all over the world have the same aspiration to be connected to what is relevant. In certain situations, people’s choices will be influenced by affordability. Mobile phones offer people in emerging markets new ways to access services. For example, weather reports received on their mobile devices let the fishermen know when it is safe to head out for the best catch. A mobile phone also helps people keep in touch with their loved ones, whatever the distance; this is important to many families in emerging markets, as their breadwinners head into urban areas seeking opportunities for more lucrative forms of employment, leaving families in their rural homelands. In emerging markets, entry level phones are more than just devices for communication. Convergence connects users of these phones to information, services and business associates and, in general, helps users realise their aspirations, while in their personal lives their mobile devices serve as more than just a communications tool – they also serve to share their experiences through photos, messages and even e-mail. So, to answer the question of ‘where’, we can pride ourselves on having arrived. We are in the age of convergence, where the standard – whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a farmer in an emerging market – is that you can access a variety of technologies to help you live and work better. The next phase is new fusions of these technologies: fusions that bring together those technologies in personalised ways that meet our unique needs and match our particular lifestyles – fusions that elevate our experience of life and how we share those experiences with the people in our lives – and fusions that drive us forward in our lives by keeping us connected to worlds bigger and beyond our own. Ultimately, it is about connections. Those old dial phones I mentioned earlier served to connect us with loved ones who lived more than shouting distance away. Today, our mobile devices serve to connect us with the people, information and services that enrich our lives. From wireless to where? Why, to anywhere you can imagine!