Prepare for a bloody war on telecom networking


60-second interview: Cisco’s departing head of corporate development Frederic Rombaut speaks to Dialogue 

1. What are the key battlegrounds for the mobile industry in the next five years? Where will market share be won and lost?

The mobile device war is over. There’s always room for outstanding new entrants, as illustrated by Xiaomi, (that we backed with Qualcomm Ventures), and Huawei may be successful with its Matebook, but it’s unlikely we’ll see major market share evolution on that front. The internet of things is the new battleground, and that is a matter of not only devices, but also service and data analytic platforms in the cloud. Whether you look at Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco or Huawei it’s all about the internet of things – a connected car for Qualcomm, Apple and Google; fitness and watches for Samsung, Apple and Google.

2. What about the telecom networking market?

That is going to be a bloody war. There is a whole new deal on the cards.
The biggest proportion of players is now from Asia – compared to the US and Europe just a decade ago – and everything is going into the cloud and being virtualized.

3. How much should business worry about the cybercrime? Who has the edge – cybersecurity experts or hackers?

With the digitization acceleration, cybersecurity is going to be a major concern. While everyone has a plan, most disruptive technologies will likely come from data based new software entrants such as Darktrace for instance.

4. Tell us one key thing you learned from Mobile World Congress 2016.

With the number of 3G users reaching 7.6bn, 4G users already at 1bn, everybody’s getting serious about 5G, especially the Asian manufacturers – who are now very aggressive with their 4.5G or 5G marketing.

5. Which countries are making waves in mobile tech?

With 189 companies at Mobile World Congress, my country, France, was the largest foreign presence at the event! This is another sign of the renaissance of the French innovation ecosystem. #frenchtech