What’s hot at Mobile World Congress? Services

In Barcelona, telecom vendors, carriers and other companies are showing off devices, boxes and new industry standards. But amid the latest phones is a burgeoning class of services that show that participants understand how the connected world will play out and how they will profit from it.

AT&T’s mad, mad plan to charge wireless app developers

AT&T doesn’t give up on trying to monetize its pipes, and thanks to a lack of network neutrality on wireless networks, limited data plans, and a hunger for bandwidth-consuming mobile apps, it may have found a way to charge developers to use its pipes.

Should mobile operators embrace over-the-top VoIP?

Voice-over-Wi-Fi pioneer Kineto Wireless is trying to convince operators that if they can’t beat the over-the-top VoIP challengers, they might as well join them. Kineto is selling VoIP software to operators that would allow them to bypass their own voice networks and offer cheap VoIP calling.

AT&T’s data traffic is actually doubling annually

AT&T is now claiming that its mobile data traffic is doubling every year, rather than increasing at a more modest 40 percent annual rate. The distinction is important because the faster AT&T’s networks become overloaded the more pressure it faces to find more spectrum.

The wireless industry swallows the Wi-Fi pill

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, you would expect LTE to hog the spotlight, but LTE might find itself overshadowed by a less sexy technology: Wi-Fi. As telecom vendors prep their new porfolios for MWC in two weeks, there is a preponderance of Wi-Fi products.

Despite critics, Cisco stands by its data deluge

Cisco Systems’ oft-cited Visual Networking Index of the world’s projected mobile data consumption fell under some criticism this year as some operators’ rapid growth seemed to peter off, but Cisco isn’t changing its forecasts. Rather, it is revising them upward, predicting even greater traffic growth.

If 2 GB is excessive, why is AT&T selling 3-GB mobile data plans?

When AT&T first started throttling unlimited smartphone data users plans last fall, it claimed it had to limit the “extraordinary” consumption of its greediest customers. It turns out extraordinary is only 2 GB – a full gigabyte less than it sells customers under its most-common data plan.