CEO Rimma Perelmuter reflects on an eventful Mobile World Congress, where MEF unveiled a new identity to reinforce its expanding remit to represent the ever-broadening mobile ecosystem.
This year’s 13th MEF Connects MWC in association with American Express marked a significant milestone in our history.
MEF was established in 2000 to help create a new ecosystem around Mobile Entertainment when music, games and apps were not quite so ubiquitous. Mobile and MEF have certainly come a long way since these early days. Today of course it’s impossible to imagine an area of our daily lives that mobile doesn’t play an active role in. Over the last 15 years mobile has evolved to become the primary touch-point for consumers globally, offering access to a vast array of services and devices which have enriched consumers’ lives and created seemingly endless possibilities for transformation – from banking to mHealth and from the much-hyped connected cars and vast array of wearables on display this week in Barcelona, the pace of innovation and change continues unabated.
MEF and our members have been key protagonists on this journey.
In the early days of Mobile Entertainment, we brought together movie studios, record labels, operators and enablers to consider new business models and agree regulation for delivering new services to consumers in a trusted and transparent fashion. We created regional hubs around the world from London to LA, Brazil to Singapore, Qatar & Jo’Burg to connect & ensure members could benefit from our global remit whilst harnessing local opportunities. Fast-foward ten years and in 2010, we evolved our positioning to include all content and commerce which in particular saw an increasing emphasis on mobile money and engagement from financial sector. .
Now in 2015, we are delighted to announce that the organisation has become the Mobile Ecosystem Forum to reflect our expanded remit in the broadening ecosystem that connects all companies who deliver or enable consumer mobile services.
This is a natural evolution for the organisation as the industry continues to grow and create new opportunities for consumers and our members. It also underlines our commitment as an impartial and authoritative champion to represent all stakeholders of the ecosystem cross borders, sectors and company size.
Feedback throughout the week on the transition to Mobile Ecosystem Forum, from our members, industry experts and press has ranged from the unequivocally positive to the wildly exuberant/the right move at the right time.
Check out this MEFTV video from the showfloor and hear what members have to say about today’s mobile ecosystem.
Our mission is to help members accelerate the growth of a sustainable mobile ecosystem that drives inclusion for all and delivers trusted services that enrich the lives of consumers worldwide. The keynote speech at MEF’s AGM by Harvey Anderson, Chief Legal Officer at AVG Technologies underlined the need of the industry to collaborate in order to create greater consumer trust to ensure sustainability. “Trust is the new currency” was one headline from the MWC conference halls and the call to action was echoed at a dedicated MEF session looking at the latest regulation and campaigns supporting consumer trust and the need to educate and empower consumers.
Another common theme that resonated throughout the week was connecting the unconnected and building services to drive inclusion.
Whether it be the seemingly omnipresent Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s internet.org campaign, Mozilla’s affordable handset deal with Orange or the increasing focus on partnerships and services that give access to better healthcare, education or banking, it was frankly refreshing to hear case studies promoting innovation in this space from offering mobile locations to villages in Ghana who have no postal address or Telenor’s service to register new births in Pakistan – mobile has the power to not only enrich the lives but also to provide essential services which transform societies for the better. MEF’s established strength and continued focus in emerging markets will serve our members well as they continue to expand their businesses globally as well as across new sectors.
MWC week was the usual frenzy of meetings and events starting of course with our legendary MEF Connects MWC 2015 in association with American Express. The evening saw over 600 members and international guests network and part into the small hours at the prestigious MACBA where attendees were treated to a wearable fashion show, photo opportunities with Ninja Turtles and molecular bar experiences for those lucky enough to join the AMEX VIP area – a true celebration of our industry’s diversity! Thanks again to all our sponsors for helping us make it a fantastic evening – American Express, AVG Technologies, FSecure, FS VAS, TIMWE, Viacom International Media Networks and Movile.
Other highlights included dedicated member meetings on Consumer Trust and Mobile Money along with the EMEA Board Elections where representatives from Barclays, Basebone, CLX Networks, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat Nigeria, InMobi and Turkcell were elected for a two year term.
Mobile Ecosystem Forum
We will be sharing the photos from the week as well as video highlights captured by the MEF Minute editorial team and showcased on our shiny new web site www.mobileecosystemforum.com.
The transition to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum is an evolution not a revolution. I’d like to thank my fellow MEF directors, members and the entire MEF team for their help in shaping this exciting phase of our journey and encourage everyone to get involved to accelerate your mobile opportunity and the future of our industry.