Smartphones in mobile-first markets: it’s complicated

It’s one of the great truisms of the mobile industry: smartphone ownership is rocketing in developing markets. But is it true? Well, kind of but not really. At least according to the operator panel convened at the MEF Global Forum for Mobile First Markets earlier this summer. The event in Bangalore brought together Vodafone India’s Prakash Sayini, Turkcell’s Tahsin Akar, Ooredoo’s Thomas Chevanne and Etiselat Nigeria’s Adia Sowho to debate this question: Are mobile first markets ready for the smartphone revolution? The panellists answers would surprise anyone who has only read … [Read more...]

Interview: how Ola is building an ‘Uber for India’

All over the world, ride-sharing apps are taking on powerful local taxi businesses. But in India, the situation is a little different: there are hardly any local firms to take on. So the challenge is more about establishing a market in the first place. Mumbai-based Ola Cabs is leading the charge. Anand Subramanian, director of marketing communications at Ola was interviewed by Shradha Sharma of YourStory Media during MEF Global Forum Mobile First Markets in Bangalore, and shared some of the company’s strategies and goals. In March of this year, Ola raised $400 million in Series E funding. It … [Read more...]

Up close with the Giants – MEFTV interviews Baidu and LINE

Last month MEF hosted the inaugural MEF Global Forum Mobile First Markets in Bangalore, where  members and delegates came together to discuss the mobile opportunity across South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and of course India. One of the highlights was an engaging debate on the insider strategies of global giants operating in emerging markets. Here MEFTV speaks with two of the panellists, Chinese internet giant Baidu and communications platform LINE to hear their thoughts on the day’s discussions and gain insights into their strategies for providing services to diverse and challenging … [Read more...]

MEF Global Forum Mobile First Markets in Pictures

The MEF Minute team have just landed back from Bangalore, India where the inaugural MEF Global Forum Mobile First Markets took place. 200+ members and delegates came together to learn fascinating insights into the mobile opportunity across South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and of course India. In the week that saw the launch of the new Indian Government’s Digital India Week #MEFGF Bangalore gave delegates access to some of the exciting innovations happening locally and across the region. 50+ speakers including Amazon, Micromax, Ola, Baidu, Deezer, Twitter, LINE, Mozilla, Yahoo and … [Read more...]

Why mobile first markets are leading the mobile charge

Unencumbered by legacy internet infrastructure, in many markets mobile has taken off as the primary digital touch-point. As smartphones become cheaper and connectivity improves there has been a corresponding uplift in mobile device penetration in markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. And it’s that widespread adoption that characterises many growth economies as mobile first. Ahead of MEF Global Forum Mobile First Markets in Bangalore next week, we take a look at why India is one of the countries at the forefront of this trend. With its entrepreneurial mentality, millions of … [Read more...]

MEF Global Forum: Mobile First Markets – Meet the Startups

On 30th June MEF Global Forum, the popular Silicon Valley series comes to Bangalore to discuss how to accelerate the mobile opportunity in the rapidly growing mobile-first markets across South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. The one-day conference includes a dedicated innovation session in partnership with GrowthEnabler where 10 start-ups will pitch their business ideas and an expert panel of execs from Amazon, Micromax, Kae Capital and 91 Springboard will discuss the ecosystem innovation requirements for success in the region. Here we give a sneak preview of some of the start-ups who … [Read more...]

Innovation Series: four startups that are ringing the changes in mobile education

With edtech startups increasingly attracting the attention of VCs, accelerators and established education businesses, some clear trends are emerging about how this latest entrant in to the mobile ecosytem is shaping up. Continuing our innovation series, these presentations from MEF Global Forum, feature four of the edtech startups - Cognition, Verificient Technologies, Smarton Learning Solutions, SMILE and RobotsLAB - that are ringing the changes in mobile education.  And below that there is an expert panel discussion on where the future of mobile in education is headed, featuring … [Read more...]

Innovation Series: disruptive talk from three mobile payment startups

Continuing our Innovation Day series, three mobile payments startups take the stage at MEF Global Forum to share insights on their disruptive business models and discuss the future of the financial services industry as it weaves itself in to the mobile ecosystem. Checkout the presentations from PayNearMe, InStore and Bionym below, plus below that a panel debate on the future of financial services with three Fintech powerhouses - Bill Harris of Personal Capital, Seb Taveau of Mastercard and Darren Foulds from session sponsor Barclays. Eryc Branham, GM & CRO of RocketSpace … [Read more...]

Innovation Series: Four start-ups connecting the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, has been emerging as the next technology mega-trend for some time, but now with pervasive connectivity and increasingly smart devices, a bona-fide IoT, beyond the smart fridge, is coming in from the cold. In this, the third from our MEF Global Forum: Innovation Day series, another group of talented start-ups; August Smart Lock, The Orange Chef Co, Voyomotive and inHome tell attendees at the San Francisco conference why they need to bet on IoT .  Checkout their presentations and slides below, and below that, hear from an expert IoT panel including Cisco, Comcast … [Read more...]

Innovation Series: three startups that are trailblazing in the Sharing Economy

As technology continues to provide increasingly sophisticated tools for peer-to-peer services, this session at MEF Global Forum posed the question, is the so called "Sharing Economy" the future of commerce? In this, the second from our Innovation Day series, another group of groundbreaking start-ups; Roost, Doorman and Open Garden serve up their insights to attendees at the San Francisco conference. Follow the links below for exclusive video pitches and slides of their presentations. The session also featured a panel debate featuring representatives from some of the biggest names in the … [Read more...]

Four Hot Startups At The Intersection of mHealth and Wearable Technology

Driven by the availability of sensor technology and health and wellness apps, the mobile ecosystem's most recent branch, Wearables, is growing fast. It's a sector which analyst firm Statista pegs at a value of $12.6 bn by 2018 and as well as hardware there is real-value in the data that Wearables can generate for healthcare industries, personal insurance and so on, sitting perfectly at the intersection of mobile technology, big data and services. Some of the hottest startups in Wearable Health including Transcense, Remedy, VoiceItt and Lumo Body Tech gathered at MEF Global Forum to explain … [Read more...]

Worldwide Consumer Trends: Who’s doing what on mobile?

MEF has published a handy infographic highlighting the different consumer profiles worldwide when it comes to mobile content and commerce.  South Africans are 'mad for' apps, Brazilians are the biggest spenders in 2014 and Indian consumers lead the take up of education on mobile. The data is taken from MEF's annual Global Consumer Survey , which looks at the  consumer behaviour patterns of almost 15,000 mobile media users in 15 countries across five continents, including mHealth, mobile education, banking, the apps economy and entertainment. The study, now in it's 4th year was launched … [Read more...]

Meffys 2014 – All the Nominees and Winners

Last month MEFTV met the Meffys 2014 nominees and winners at the 11th Annual Awards Gala Dinner in San Francisco as part of MEF Global Forum 2014. Watch backstage interviews with all of the winners below. You can also check out all of the finalists – it’s a fantastic round-up of the best in mobile content and commerce from around the world in 2014. The Winners Mobile Education - Wikimedia Foundation > [youtube:]mHealth - Eko Devices > Big Data … [Read more...]

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#MEFGF14: Photo Round-up

Last week MEF Global Forum brought together over 350 delegates from 30 countries to San Francisco to experience a unique showcase and platform for international mobile content & commerce. Featuring the hottest local and international start-ups and 90+ speakers, we will be sharing the content highlights over the coming weeks here on the MEF Minute but for now, check out some of the photos below from across the three day event including the Meffys Gala Dinner. Thanks to all our partners and supporters including Mozilla, Etisalat Nigeria, Movile, Titans Group, Mahindra Comviva, Terra … [Read more...]

MEF Global Consumer Survey 2014: growth economies driving mobile adoption

Global mobile content and commerce activity grew slightly from 65 to 66 per cent in 2014, fueled by strong gains in growth markets. A lack of trust remains the industry’s biggest obstacle, increasing from 30 to 34 per cent year on year Download the executive summary here MEF has published the results of its annual Global Consumer Survey at MEF Global Forum held in San Francisco this week which brought together nearly 400 global mobile leaders, the hottest start-ups and industry executives. The study now in it's 4th year is the largest ever, surveying almost 15,000 mobile media users … [Read more...]

15 stats that show how mobile money is taking shape globally

Earlier this month we created this Mobile Money Landscape diagram - a who's who of the companies that are booting up the mobile money ecosystem. Take a closer look at the statistics below which we've picked out to illustrate how mobile money is pushing out in every direction, bringing mobile service providers in to direct and collaborative relationships with regulators, banks, and retailers, creating a powerful mix of companies that are all committed to making a secure and sustainable future. Understanding how mobile money is taking shape in growth and established economies will also be … [Read more...]

Is The Future Of Education In The Cloud?

A key theme of next week’s MEF Global Forum 2014, and a highlight of the agenda for Day 1’s Innovation day, is the role of mobile technology in Education. Diana Stepner, VP of Innovation Partnerships & Developer Relations at Pearson, is one the expert panelists from the dedicated EdTech session, and here talks about some of the work that the global publishing and education company is doing to harness mobile innovation to improve the reach and quality of education. One of our aims at Pearson, as a global learning company, is to tackle the most pressing challenges in education. That’s why … [Read more...]

App Annie partners with MEF to highlight key growth markets for app stores

Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and India are the next growth markets-to-watch for players in the mobile app economy. That's according to a new joint report from App Annie and MEF which details how the mobile infrastructure and  rate of development in these countries are creating significant new opportunities for app publishers. Based on App Annie’s Intelligence data (which analyses app downloads and revenues across Google Play and the iOS app store), China is highlighted as the largest of the growth markets, as identified by MEF - its downloads growing 10% in the last year, second only … [Read more...]

Privacy is the single biggest concern for today’s mobile consumers ten other facts shaping the global mobile industry At next month’s MEF Global Forum (November 17th – 19th, San Francisco), we will be launching the 4th Annual MEF Global Consumer Survey which analyses the behaviours, attitudes and trends that are shaping the mobile industry from over 15,000 respondents in 15 countries. From Mexico to UAE and from Nigeria to Indonesia - here’s a sneak preview of 11 essential facts about global mobile trends from wearables & mHealth to mobile payments and The Internet of Things. All of these topics and more will be represented at MEF Global … [Read more...]

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Registration Now Open for 2014 MEF Global Forum

Registration launched today for MEF Global Forum 2014, taking place November 17-19 at The Westin San Francisco Market Street. #MEFGF14 is a must-attend even for anyone looking to connect with international mobile leaders and better understand the global mobile landscape. We have 25 passes available at $799 for the first 25 people that register which is  an amazing discount of nearly 50% on delegate passes. Early Bird registration is also open until September 30. Bringing together top global mobile leaders and vertical market executives from some of the most influential companies across 25 … [Read more...]