CommunicAsia took place from June 17th through 21st at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center – one of Singapore’s signature landmarks. It brought together telecom operators and vendors, enterprise and consumer electronic vendors, and companies focused on satellite transmission and broadcasting technology. Walking through the exhibition floors, I felt like I was at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games rather than at a trade show. Exhibition spaces were sectioned off by respective country/national government, and there was participation from over 49 countries.
This global involvement was clear evidence that governments are deeply involved in the promotion of national innovation – everyone wants a place in the technology innovation field, and no one wants to be left behind. I have always believed that innovation success is dependent on three pillars: technology, people and process. And now more than ever, if you are starting out in the tech field, you’d better understand how to leverage that seemingly extraneous force – government in this case – in order to play on the world stage.
To help attendees sort through the maze of technologies, the show floors were organized into five specialized techzones – Fiber for NextGen Services, APPSmart, NextGen Connected Services, Smart Enterprise, and eGovernment. The most prominent themes included: Cloud Computing, OTT/IPTV, and Big Data. Big data, a hot topic in today’s market, is the monster-sized transactional data that consumers generate on the service providers’ networks. It is what we consume, how we consume, when we consume, and how much we consume. With the right tools, service providers can mine this data to gather actionable intelligence and come up with new services and ways of enhancing user experience, and allow advertisers to better target their audiences.
I blogged about WiFi and it being a disruptive technology recently, and while at CommunicAsia, I got to hear about a recent report by ABI Research on WiFi. It stated that the number of hotspot deployments worldwide reached 4.9 million in 2012 and is expected to increase to 6.3 million this year. Fittingly, of the total worldwide hotspots, 88 percent of WiFi deployment is in the Asia Pacific region (8% Europe, 3% in North America and 1% in other regions). So, Asia is leading in WiFi deployment, even with mobile operators upgrading from their 2G or 2.5G to 3G or 4G mobile services. Pure economics make WiFi a popular and viable choice of connectivity for the majority of smartphones, tablet, and laptops accessing mobile Internet.
And so, back to the point where I started off writing about Singapore’s colossal sensor fabric effort. It’s hard to not think about privacy and security issues when it comes to government collecting data about its citizens, especially amidst recent news where a former NSA contractor revealed the US government snooped on its citizens. At this year’s CommunicAsia show, there were a plethora of booth displays dedicated to security – from application vendors touting their technologies for consumer protection to those focused on the traditional enterprise IT security. With the proliferation of Internet enabled devices, security is now questioned when delivering multi-screen content because of delivery to inherently unsecured devices, smartphones, PCs, tablets, and connected TVs. Enterprise IT security booth displays were mostly focused on the new breed of cyber attacks resulting from the movement to the cloud, mobile Internet and the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) phenomenon. Experts in attendance also pointed out other possible security issues such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that are possible through cloud based multi-screen services and account sharing.
Among all of these themes, the central issue was how to rapidly deliver reliable services, a topic close to our hearts here at Incognito Software. We take pride in working with well over 500 service providers worldwide, and CommunicAsia was just one of the global tradeshow stops we made so far this year.
We’ll be back in 2014!