Mar 19, 2014

MWC 2014: When Is a Tablet Not Just a Tablet?

Having recently spent a few days at MWC, where Altair was inundated with meetings upon meetings with carriers, infrastructure vendors, hardware manufacturers and others, there are two major takeaways I was able to see.

First, the success of the Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet is an absolute market-maker. I wrote recently about how we felt the impact of the Verizon deal at CES. But now, we have entered a completely different realm: It’s not just that the concept has been proven. The market demand has been proven as well.

You see, traditionally, when Verizon Wireless takes an aggressive step in the market, everyone pays attention. And, if that step proves to not be a mistake, others will begin to move along a similar path.

But it’s rare that Verizon makes a bold move – like pushing 3G so assertively to the background, in favor of LTE-only – and is then able to see such clear evidence of success, such as the “chronic” back-order status of the Ellipsis 7.

When THAT happens, others don’t so much want to move along a similar path. They need to, and they need to quickly.

And that is what we saw at MWC. The entire wireless ecosystem – from North America to Japan to Russia and beyond – was telling us that it is ready to push forward in a big way with LTE-only devices and solutions.

And selfishly, that’s gratifying for Altair, because in essence, the market told us loudly and clearly at MWC that we were right all along.

MWC was a crystal clear validation of our LTE-only strategy.

So what’s next?

Well, obviously when you have so many in the industry telling you they are ready to move ahead with you, execution is key. So we have to execute. And we plan to do so.

But the larger answer to the question of what’s next – and it was also my second takeaway – is not going to be a big surprise to you:

The Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT as it was being shown in Barcelona is not necessarily about LTE. It’s about the future connected lifestyle. Of course, LTE will play a role. We believe LTE will play a major role.

And I’ve got more to say about that in the future, but for right now, we’ve got a lot of orders to fulfill for our current customers, so I’ll leave the topic of IoT alone.

But I will say this: Although tablets and Chromebooks are wonderful applications for LTE-only, IoT will really give our technology – and our strategy – an opportunity to shine.