Participants in the third South Asian Mobile Conference at Cinnamon Grand Colombo on 30th instant will enjoy a rare chance in interaction with world’s top experts on the mobile.
The conference, the biggest of its kind in the region brings together developers of next generation mobile content and applications, visionaries, researchers, academics, investors, policy makers and civil society activists. Internationally renowned experts will address the Conference sharing their experiences and vision on creativity and innovation, and their vision for the future.
Among the leading resource persons lined up for enriching the conference are Ralph Simon, Tomi T. Ahonen, Idrees Butt, Sanjaya Karunasena, Osama Manzar, Suren Pinto, Harsha Purasinghe, Shamal Ranasinghe, Dr. Madanmohan Rao, Dumindra Ratnayaka, Dinesh Saparamadu, Hassan Shahid, , Dr. Hans Wijesuriya.
According to the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the hosting organisation, the conference objectives are: (1) To stimulate new thinking and vision for the future , (2) To create awareness on current trends and business opportunities and models in mobile content and application development, (3) To share experiences in developing and deploying mobile applications for the wider society and (4) To create awareness on policies affecting Mobile Telecommunication in the South Asian Region.
Registration for the conference is on and the website for online registration is www.southasiamobicon.org, ICTA sources said.
Mobiles, integral part of life
Mobiles are today an integral part of our lives – it is the one item that stays with us always but there is still a lack of understanding on how powerful the mobile can be. The South Asian Region is today bearing witness to the power of the mobile to empower millions with information, content and services. Sri Lanka leads the region with population coverage of 90%. (18 million subscribers), followed by India (74% - 895 million subscribers), Pakistan ( 66% - 172 million subscribers) and Bangladesh ( 49% - 150 million subscribers).
From statistics it is evident that mobile broadband outnumbers fixed broadband 2:1 and experts predict that mobile web usage will overtake PC based web usage. This is expected to happen more quickly in developing countries where fixed web penetration remains relatively low. Moreover the mobile is more affordable than computers; Its infrastructure requirement is modest and no special technological expertise is required for its use.
Yet, the scale of opportunity presented by the mobile in mass media, in business, in entertainment and in learning is still not fully exploited. This holds true not only for Sri Lanka but also for the entire South Asian Region.
It is for this reason that ICTA launched the very first South Asian Mobile Conference in June 2010 with Etisalat Sri Lanka Pvt. Ltd. as a strategic partner. The Conference was heavily oversubscribed. The Second South Asian Mobile Conference was held in June 2011 with equal success. As in last year, this year too, Etisalat will be playing a key role as the Strategic Partner.
Array of distinguished resource persons
Leading mobile entertainment strategist Ralph Simon whose presentation at the Second Conference was greeted with a standing ovation will be back also for the Conference this year. Ralph Simon advises stars including Madonna, U2 and Lady Gaga on their mobile strategies. This reflects Simon’s status as one of the world’s top experts in mobile technology and the music business.
Tomi T. Ahonen - Author, Consultant and Motivational Speaker - is the most published author on books about mobile. The former Nokia executive has released as much as twelve books on mobile topics. Earlier this year Forbes, in their story featuring the Top 10 Power Influencers in Mobile around the world rated Tomi Number 1. Tomi articulates his vision for mobile as a media with a rare marketing prescience that is sure to benefit all that are listening.
The panel of presenters will also be further enriched this year with the participation of Mobile DATA, Mobile Advertising, Content and Products Head Hassan Shahid of Mobilink GSM Pakistan. Mobilink GSM Pakistan has more than 31.6 million subscribers. Hassan has made noteworthy contributions at several Conferences including "Mobile Data 2011" – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, "Mobile VAS Summit 2011"- Singapore and "Mobile Broadband for Emerging Markets" – Dubai amongst others.”
An interesting feature at this year’s Conference will be the use of the mobile in social networking and the future of popular user engagement. Idrees Butt COO of Pakistan’s first mobile social network SMSall will take on this subject. SMSall is reported to house over 400,000 established communities, with 1.5 million registered users and 2.5 million users through corporate clients. It also has exchanged a whopping 4 billion text messages on its network to date.
Another first at this year will be a presentation on the ‘Future of Media’ by Shamal Ranasinghe. Shamal Ranasinghe, Co-founder –Topspin based out of Los Angeles, USA has been responsible for defining software and service best practices for leading companies in the digital music space. Ranasinghe will discuss how the landscape is changing for the production and distribution of media across all media types. His discussion will also focus attention on how marketing will forever be changed via where and how we consume music on the mobile device. He will seek to drive home the point that the time is NOW to make a move in innovating in this space. He says: “We are at the beginning, not the middle, of the evolution. The true disruption is yet to come.
This third South Asian Mobile Conference will also have key contributions coming from the CEOs of leading telcos. Dialog Axiata PLC Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijeysuriya will talk of Sustainable Mobile Commerce Eco-Systems in Emerging Markets.
Promises for next generation
The Conference promises to lay the foundation for next generation mobile application which could have tremendous impact on businesses and on society. ICTA expects that this event will serve to create wider awareness on the growing potential of the mobile and its wider use in development. It hopes that the conference will stimulate innovation and innovative use of the mobile in corporate communication.
Tomi T. Ahonen