Letter from the Editor - February 2015

By: Tim Young

“Done laid around, done stayed around this old town too long
And it seems like I’ve got to travel on”

-Bob Dylan, Gotta Travel On

Almost six years ago, I traded in my bachelor’s lifestyle in Chicago for the more serene landscape of the American South. In the time since, I’ve gotten married, become a father, earned a graduate degree, moved into a new home an alarming five times, and experienced all sorts of pleasant and not-so-pleasant milestones of aging.

Now, instead of having my morning coffee in a paper cup on a moving (mostly) train, I have it overlooking a rarely-snow-covered backyard while feeding yogurt to a protesting toddler.

In the midst of all of these changes, one thing has remained the same: my mobile phone number. It’s a number with an area code that represents a place a thousand miles away. The last time I actually lived in that area code, the number was associated with a Motorola RAZR (which, if you do the math, I really kept way too long). When I give it out to anyone locally, I have to quickly specify the area code and have the “are you visiting?” conversation.

Faraway phone number, why can’t I quit you?

Simple answer: it’s too much work. My number is on my business cards. My friends and colleagues have it. I can use it in place of annoying loyalty cards at seldom-visited businesses.

Weirdly, that “mobile” number has become one of the most stationary things in my life.

My story is not rare, and it’s just one facet of the many ways in which the mobile experience has changed tremendously. Mobile apps have overtaken PC internet usage in the U.S. People spend more time on mobile devices than they do watching TV. There are more mobile devices in the world than there are people.

Mobile devices can be everything from your flashlight to your doctor, and the use cases that writers like me bloviated about completely speculatively just a few short years ago are here.

No matter where we travel, our devices are there.

In this issue of Pipeline, we talk about the changing mobile landscape. We explore the changing nature of devices, the growing mobile money marketplace, and the impending 5G onslaught. We also discuss mobile network optimization and the part that rural and emerging markets play in the mobile conversation. We also hear from Nakina’s Patrick Rhude on SDN/NFV and from Zvika Delman at Amdocs on managing the customer experience. In addition, we feature Comverse in our monthly Vendor Spotlight and, of course, bring you all of the latest news on innovation in communications and technology.

And speaking of innovation, I want to take a moment to remind you that the nomination deadline for the Pipeline’s 2015 Innovation Awards is fast approaching. To learn more about the awards and nominate a deserving company, visit our awards headquarters.


Tim Young


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