ictQATAR Forum Explores the Future of Mobile

Sunday, February 5, 2012
ictQATAR Forum

Qatar is clearly a very mobile connected country. The mobile subscription rate stands at 142%, meaning most people have multiple phones. Also, smartphones make up a significant percentage of mobile devices here, putting personal computers directly in the hands of many.

The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology, ictQATAR, explored how the rapidly evolving world of mobile is impacting society and looked towards the future of mobile on the first day of its forum, Everything Mobile, February 4 in Doha. The interactive forum is exploring mobile in the Arab world from a business, consumer and regulatory perspective.

“Mobile is truly changing the way we communicate with friends and family, the way we do business, how we learn and how people around the globe access information. Everything Mobile was geared towards sharing the latest international thinking about where mobile is going and the exciting impact it may have in Qatar,” said Kholoud Al-Ali, Publications Manager at ictQATAR.

“Everywhere you look here you see people glued to their mobile phones or tablets. As the mobile devices become more and more sophisticated, so too does the content consumed on them and the policy considerations around them. ictQATAR aims to remain at the forefront of innovative technology, understanding its impact on society and preparing the right environment for innovation through technology,” she added.

Specific topics covered included m-commerce and finance, mobile entertainment and games, mobile software and hardware, mobile public services, location-based services and, of course, apps. Leaders in mobile technology, social media and digital commerce from all over the world presented at the event, which was free, open to the public and attracted nearly 500 attendees day.

Claire Diaz Ortiz, who leads the Social Innovation and Philanthropy division at Twitter spoke about ‘Mobile for Social Good’ and Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg and co-founder of Milk Inc., the app innovators, focused on disruptive mobile apps. Gabe Zickermann, CEO of Gamification Co. presented on ‘Gamification of Mobile.’

Panel discussions ran between the presentations with subjects as diverse as Mobile, and Media and the Public Sector, M-Commerce. Representatives from some of the most successful media and ICT organizations took part including Yahoo! Middle East, LivingSocial Middle East and Al Jazeera.

The second day of Everything Mobile will have a more policy and device focus, with keynote talks from Kip Meek, a former policy maker with the UK’s telecommunications regulatory authority Ofcom and current CEO of Everything Everywhere, and Tomi Ahonen, author and former Nokia executive. The forum will close with a panel featuring all keynote speakers who will broadly discuss the future of mobile from a range of perspectives.

Tonight, ictQATAR will host a Tweet-up for the local community featuring Claire Diaz Ortiz. Diaz Ortiz will focus specifically on her work with Twitter and highlight her book “Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time.” The Tweet-up will take place at the Sharq Village & Spa at 6:00 p.m. on February 5, 2012.