LTE again, this time with added apps stores

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The mobile industry has performed a classic repeat of its eyes-are-bigger-than-its-stomach feat of choosing LTE as one of its hype topics at this year's Mobile World Congress. The buzz in Barcelona is again focused on building bigger, better networks and as the vendors rush headlong down this path, attention to monetising what's already in place is in some respects being pushed to the back burner.

Thankfully, this network fixation has been diluted this year with a dual focus on application stores. Every man and his dog seems to be launching one with Microsoft, Blackberry and Nokia joining Google and Apple along with leftfield vendors like Amdocs and Comverse offering stores as a service to operators. It's interesting but, with the exception of Blackberry, which has devoted most of its stand to its network of business application providers, the apps on offer are mostly fluff. Away from the toys for consumers Blackberry has apps ranging from SAP to highly specific healthcare applications. The uses of such functionality looks very interesting for enterprises, although I expect they will give CIOs management headaches. Word on the street also has it that Blackberry is poised to add WiFi capability to a Storm-like device in the near future. The company itself wouldn't be drawn on the prospects of this but the added connectivity option would fit well with the connectivity requirements of such apps.

Stewart Baines

I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.