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|IUJ Mobile Symposium -- A Big Success!
Jul. 31, 2006
"IUJ Mobile Entertainment Forum 2006" on July 20 at Tokyo Big Site attracted more than 120 participants in total. Jointly sponsored by IUJ's PLATFORM Program Office and the newly established IUJ u-Lab, this symposium brought together leading senior executives from across the mobile entertainment industry, focusing on three critical areas within this rapidly evolving areas including "Mobile TV," "Mobile Games," and "Mobile Music."
One of the E-biz students, Ms. Emily Mutyavaviri, who participated in the forum submitted a full-report:
Emily Mutyavaviri (Zimbabwe)
E-Business Management, Class of 2006
International University of Japan
Jointly sponsored by the Platform Promotion Office of the International University of Japan (IUJ) and the newly established IUJ u-Lab mobile think tank, an arm of the university’s outward looking platform program on the impact of Mobile Technologies on Markets and Societies, this event was held at Japan's largest wireless & Mobile network technologies and services trade show, Expocomm Wireless Japan 2006. Ted Matsumoto, Senior Vice President of Qualcomm Corporate chaired the event.
Industry experts drawn from various sectors of the mobile entertainment industry were lined up to present. Aspects covered included Mobile TV, games, location-based services (including advertising), as well as mobile music. IUJ chairman, Mr. Yotaro Kobayashi made the inaugural remarks, following which the chairman, Ted Mastumoto, set the discussions rolling with remarks on the threats and opportunities within the wireless industry.
Various speakers presented in their areas of expertise, with the first session focusing on issues surrounding business models and suitable contents for Mobile TV being kicked off by comments from u-Lab Co-Director Mr. Ludovico Ciferri,. Mr. Chiaki Fujino, President and CEO of Nanomedia, one of Japan’s largest mobile content providers, presented his insights on One-Seg broadcasting in Japan, as well as the future of TV. He was followed by the CEO of BellRock Media Inc. and CSO of Yoshimoto Kogyo (one of Japan’s most influential companies, employing most of Japan’s comedy talent), Mr. Hiroshi Nakata, who spoke on the area of mobile content, briefly touching on models for this area, that included a discussion on Nanomedia’s approach to the need for consumers to kill ‘in-between’ time using their mobile.
Sony Semiconductor’s Luigi Ardito then focused on the technology roadmap for mobile TV, with particular emphasis on DVB-H, one of a number of possible standards for Mobile-TV. His presentation included a look at ongoing DVB-H tests in a number of European countries, as well as Italy’s recent pioneering step in fully launching DVB-H mobile TV services (in time to capture their world cup victory on the mobile platform!). He highlighted some of the challenges in commercializing the service worldwide, more specifically in Europe. These include spectrum availability, competing technologies and availability of suitable content, among others. Mr Ardito also made reference to Sony’s efforts in this area.
Following a position paper on the mobile platform for games and advertising, two growing industries in the mobile space by IUJ Professor Mr. Philip Sugai, Mr. Hiro Higashiyama of Japan-based mobile gaming content provider G-mode Co., Ltd, gave his remarks on the future of mobile gaming. His presentation included an analysis of various gaming platforms in existence today, mobile being one, and also touched on the need for new approaches in light of the convergence of these various gaming platforms.
Peter Babucke of Lufthansa German Airlines then gave his talk on efforts being made by his company in using mobile entertainment as a marketing tool. Lufthansa recently launched its mobile website in Japan, focusing on using this platform to spread the Lufthansa brand to the younger generation. The site is being tested, and data gathered is being analyzed to enhance services and draw in this crowd, before incorporating more interactive features at a later stage.
U-Lab co director Marco Koeder then set the stage for a discussion on Music and mobile entertainment. Speakers in this session included Mandali Khalesi, President, CEO and Founder of Naviblog, provider of no-download-required location-based mobile and Web 2.0-related technology development and services. Mr. Khalesi gave a look into what his company is doing and planning to do in the area of location based services and mobile entertainment. The last speaker in this session, Dirk Hoffman, Head of Innovation Management at Siemens BenQ Mobile looked at consumer adoption and mobile handest development in the arena of mobile music. He highlighted challenges in attracting the consumer, as well as seamlessly integrating devices in a converging and increasingly ubiquitous society.
An open Q&A session by all the speakers then followed. Further insights were given, including comments on surprises in consumer response to new technologies and services. Speakers reiterated that in a number of cases, consumer response has been very surprising, and has been a source of innovative thoughts and ideas companies themselves may not have previously realised.
Overall, this was a very stimulating and well organized event. From a student perspective, meeting such a variety of industry experts in one place was a tremendous learning and networking experience. I was excited to get a glimpse of a practical reality of some of the issues we discuss in the classroom. It is my hope that this will be only a beginning of greater things and further mutually beneficial interactions for the IUJ Platform Program, the u-Lab and the greater business community IUJ seeks to serve.