The Mobile World Congress 2014 now being held in Barcelona is clarifying what the telecoms industry has got up its sleeve for us users. The intention of many companies is to take Internet mobile connections to expanding markets, as seen in Mozilla’s new $25 smartphones and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg’s proposal to create a foundation to take the Internet to countries without it.
The mobile market is the future (or, actually, the present) of Internet communications. Let’s look at this trend at the global level. A recent study from the agency Nielsen affirms that the use of smartphones in Spanish-speaking countries has been adopted with much greater intensity than the level registered in the United States, to the point that some 10% of mobile phone revenues at the global level come from Latin America, with Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina at the top of the list.
In the face of this situation, it’s clear why operators are preparing themselves to attack the new emerging markets in the rest of the world. The Mozilla Foundation has made an agreement with the Chinese manufacturer Spreadtrum Communications to develop low-cost smartphones that will make use of the increasingly more interesting FirefoxOS, which today is already available on markets around the world.
Its humble characteristics make it a low-range device of little interest to the average user, but the key to this lies in the “where”and not in the “what,” since there are no plans to market it in North America or Europe, but rather in African and Asian countries. And that’s exactly where Mark Zuckerberg has come in with another equally alluring proposition.
The creator of Facebook, besides talking about the recent acquisition of WhatsApp, has introduced at MWC 2014 a brand-new initiative: Internet.org. Its aim is to take an Internet connection to countries where coverage is scarce. In fact, two-thirds of the world population currently have no access to the Internet. Thus, the point is to work on creating economical network infrastructures and to reduce data usage when transmitting online services. And of course, although at the moment it hasn’t been done, Zuckerberg will probably soon be talking about own-branded mobile devices for his company.
During the next few days the entire world will be watching the unveiling of the latest high-range devices being released for 2014. Luckily, as seen at this MWC 2014, big steps are continually being taken to make all this technology accessible to those for whom it is now out of reach.