The Telecoms sector according to employs more people than any other sector on the planet. Staggeringly there are 7.4 billion active mobile phones out there (considerably more than the total number of Earth dwellers) and not surprisingly 6 billion of these are in Asia – specifically China. With Apple posting the biggest ever quarter in corporate history just a couple of weeks ago, Tim Cook certainly tipped his hat to the Chinese appetite for Apples featuring more prominently in their device diet. (Apple drew level with Samsung as the world’s biggest smartphone maker in January 2015 and the race continues).

The mobile industry has been appearing in the headlines on a very regular basis over the passing months. With T-Mobile’s lengthy merger to Orange finally completed, EE arose, proud and branded, finally and eventually accepted by the consumer… but the consumer blinked and now EE is being purchased by British Telecom for $17Billion. Kevin Bacon surely taking a handsome bonus home for an advertising job well done.

This news comes hot on the back of Li Ka-Shings vehicle – Hutchinson Whampoa – owner of Three (which in 2003 was hitting losses of $2.5 Billion), now capable of mounting a bid for O2, in the region of $16Billion. “Ker Ching” indeed. A lot of time has been and gone since Mr. Li overpaid for 3G licenses in the frenzy year of 2000. With Vodafone rumored in August 2014 to be in the sights of AT&T and the top 5 mobile phone companies “owning” 2.4 billion subscribers between them– China Mobile; Sing Tel; Vodafone; Airtel and China Unicom… there is size, scope, cash and appetite for more changes, mergers and acquisitions.

This growth is all good news for the consumers as long as so many companies are around… (less so, the more they merge and reduce our choice of competition). Clearly the mobile phone providers have permeated into all aspects of our life now. They have enabled start-up firms to set up and grow into gigantic corporations – Facebook, Twitter Instagram and hundreds more. They are able to find a platform and carve out a niche and client base with exceptional alacrity. These firms then provide an essential quenching of thirst for entertainment bursts, that we the consumer didn’t even know we needed.

How do we even fit in work when 3 billion videos are viewed on Facebook alone, everyday, through active daily user numbers of 890 million? People, whoever they are manage to upload 100 hours of video onto YouTube every minute. The average YouTube mobile video views per day was 1 billion. The voracious appetites for users of any age – (2 to 122), to have a phone, upgrade their phone and embrace this essential tool to manage their lives and relieve boredom through the mobile bandwidth means vast opportunities for businesses of all kinds – Alarm (Get Up) Uber (Get a Taxi), JustEat (Get Some Food), King / Candy Crush (Get Some Gaming), Tinder (Get a Date) / or Grinder (As Before), Open Table (Get a Restaurant) , Facebook (Get a Look at Your Ex) Trainline (Get Home)… WhatsApp, Whatevers next App… Billion dollar / pound / euro / yen businesses happening in harmony and thanks to the mobile. No wonder Telecoms is the largest employer on the planet, its supporting every business on the planet…

Mobile phones have created vast opportunities for businesses to grow and establish an extensive customer base very quickly and very cheaply. They are likely to replace the credit card, passport, lighter and just about everything else we need to carry with us in our bag or pocket (hairbrush app?) BUT maybe, the Samsung Smart TV is a glimpse of a step too far – listening to our conversations in order to deploy the most relevant advertisements to us, seems like a natural step. But maybe George Orwell was right… Big Brother is watching us (on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter…) An exciting space to watch and its nice to know that its watching us too…

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