Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

Insights from Wireless and Mobile 09

Posted by Sarah Mulder on May 21, 2009

Morning on the show floor

Morning on the show floor

We’ve started our second day at Wireless and Mobile 09 in Olympia, where we’re running the press office for Europe’s largest wireless show, now in its fifth year.  The mood here seems realistic and upbeat.  Yesterday, educational seminars were all full and footfall at the event is doing extremely well; demonstrating that even if people are finding the economy tough, the appetite for growth and technological development does not seem to be waning.

Opera Software gave an interesting perspective on the role of the internet in today’s world.   Jon S. Von Tetzchner, Opera’s co-founder, reminded the audience that despite the internet’s centrality to seemingly everything in the developed world, actually only 20% of the world population currently has online access.  It will be interesting to see how fast this percentage grows over the next year as the developing world starts using some of the mobile technology on offer here today.

Continuing with this theme, Opera ran a survey in 1998 asking, ‘what would you rather do without, TV or your PC with internet access’? In 1998, 80% of respondents said they would rather be without the internet while 20% said TV.  In 2007 they ran the same survey and unsurprisingly the balance had shifted, but what was surprising was by how much; 85% now say they could now live without TV and only 15% were still wedded to their telly.

Encouragingly though, it seems as though this hypothetical conundrum may soon be solved as Jon finished his talk by telling us that within the next ten years every TV set produced will have internet access. Given that one of Opera’s customers is the TV giant Sony Bravia, they are probably in quite a good place to make this prediction.


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