Threat or opportunity? It all depends on your view

You are a mobile network operator/service provider, surrounded by people saying that everything is going mobile. To quote Tomi Ahonen, "Mobile is the ultimate cannibal" and “Mobile + X = Mobile”. Yet the whole conversation within the mobile industry is one of future challenges to revenues and margins. How can both views be right?


Perhaps we need to view the world through a different lens. Look at the famous picture above and describe what you see: “an old woman” or “a young lady”. Can you see both? Which do you see first?

Read Geoff's post on the 10 questions you need to ask about the future of digital.  Or his latest on 5G VR, the lowest possible latency and how the world is about to change.

It is the same picture but you can draw vastly different conclusions depending on how you look at it. Changing the way you view the world is tremendously difficult but incredibly important.

Thanks to technology, the world is changing – and changing faster than ever before. But what this really means is that business models are changing – faster than before. Technology is an enabler, but it is business models that define winners and losers. And the way you view the changing landscape (old woman, young lady) will define which you are.

Ten years ago, customers went to mobile operators for two basic services – voice and SMS – and only four years ago, voice would account for 90 percent of device usage. Now only 26 percent of the time on smart phones is voice calls (see Hans Vestberg’s CES speech).

Applications are the new units of disruption: start viewing them as the next generation of young ladies, all trying to look as attractive as possible and all vying for the limited attention span of the audience out there (for example, there are already 500 music-streaming apps).

Ask yourself: how can you make them more attractive on your network, and through this make them more successful and you more successful? After all they are all getting ready for the “mobile ball” and you do own the venue….

To quote Winning the Game, “the difference between threat and opportunity is opinion and attitude. The difference between winning and losing is the ability to execute on the fantastic.”

The Ericsson Blog

Like what you’re reading? Please sign up for email updates on your favorite topics.

Subscribe now

At the Ericsson Blog, we provide insight to make complex ideas on technology, innovation and business simple.