The Mobility Ecosystem


PTOLEMUS believes that a comprehensive mobility ecosystem is emerging.

It is at the crossroads of

  • Historically, a large numer of “moving objects”, i.e. individuals, cars, trucks, etc.
  • An almost ubiquitous wireless connectivity,
  • A rapidly maturing environment of location-based technologies (such as GPS), content and services.

1. The mobile phone ecosystem is truly starting to emerge

  • Over half of the world’s population (3.5 billion) now owns a mobile phone ; that is 3/4 of all world phones,
  • Smartphones will become the device of the majority in developed countries in the next 2-3 years,
  • The web ecosystem is reaching its maturity but the growth potential of mobile multimedia is still enormous, as evidenced by iPhone’s usage pattern,
  • All leading technology players are now backing the GSM-WCDMA-LTE track, which means a single standard worldwide long-term,
  • The 2 countries that will lead the 21st century, namely China and India, are following the Japanese model where the mobile ecosystem dominates.

2. The enablers of connected moving objects are now present

  • The widespread availability of unexpensive cellular data-only tariff plans, ideal for M2M applications,
  • The increasing availability of unlimited mobile data tariff plans,
  • Universal coverage (90% of the world population is now covered),
  • Cheap GPS modules (approx. $2) will facilitate the proliferation of location-aware devices,
  • Two open operating systems with publicly available APIs are now available: Symbian and Android,
  • The development of NFC technologies (e.g. RFID) gives “last meter” connectivity to low cost assets.

Think about the enormous potential of connected moving objects:

  • Within the next 5-10 years, all new cars will be equipped thanks to the take off of PNDs,
  • Within the next 10-15 years, the same will happen with trucks and other commercial vehicles because the value of location is worth even more,
  • Within the next 25 years, it is likely that our preferred animals (dogs, cats, etc.) and objects (umbrella, handbag, etc.) will also have it!

We describe below those companies and institutions that constitute this Mobility Ecosystem. They include global players as well as local entities.

We believe that there is a system of mobility with multiple one-to-one and one-to-many relationships between companies, individuals and objects:

  • Supplying relationships (“integrate or be integrated”),
  • Research and development relationships (standard setting, open platform architectures, etc.)
  • Competitive relationships (“eat or be eaten”)
  • Content sourcing, delivering and distribution relationships,
  • Etc.

The take-off of connected, geolocalized mobility applications is conditioned by these relationships.

All “Mobile Companies”, as we will call them, understand that their success depends on their ability to be understood by others and to leverage others’ efforts. Even Google will reward the best application developers on the Android platform with an aggregated $10 million.