The 10th Mobile VAS & Apps Conference and Mobile Trends Forum in Review

St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 December 2013. i-Free sums up the 10th Mobile VAS & Apps Conference and Mobile Trends Forum, Eastern Europe’s premier mobile industry event held on 21 and 22 November at the Corinthia Hotel in St. Petersburg.   

The Mobile VAS & Apps Conference is eagerly awaited each year by the mobile industry in Russia and the rest of the CIS. The conference brings together hundreds of mobile industry insiders and analysts from all over the world. This year, the conference was augmented by the Mobile Trends Forum, which focused on cutting-edge technology and the latest generation of mobile products.

This year’s conference and forum were attended by over 500 participants from 19 countries, most of them CEOs, senior managers, and employees of companies representing many aspects of the global mobile industry. They were joined by independent industry watchers, technology entrepreneurs, and reporters for more than 30 mobile industry media outlets.

The conference featured 24 presentations and six roundtables covering the most pressing items on the mobile industry agenda. Presentations were made by some of the industry’s trailblazers and pre-eminent experts: Ralph Simon (MEF), Dmitry Tartyshev (MasterCard), Romuald Zdebski (Microsoft), Ekaterina Gorodianskaya (Samsung), Kirill Petrov (i-Free), Boris Kim (Qiwi), Marianna Kryakvina (Creative Mobile), Denis Nochevnov (Megalabs), Pavel Bogdanov (Almaz Capital), Robert Bole (BBG), Evgeny Lisovsky (LitRes), and many others.

The first day of the conference was packed with sessions on mobile distribution, games, and apps. At a dedicated session, mobile operators shared their latest strategies and new opportunities on offer to developers. They also discussed Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and current market policy. 

On the second day, presentations were made by Microsoft, Samsung, Qualcomm and BBG, which drew a large audience. After this, the conference split into two streams: some participants proceeded to discuss digital content, while others focused on mobile investments. At the end of the day, all participants reassembled for panel debates on mobile payments and NFC technology.

There were a few extra events during the conference this year. The Mobile Projects Show, held on 21 November, proved a useful venue for entrepreneurs to meet with well-known publishers and potential investors. Participants were introduced to the prototypes of new mobile products and services and asked to vote for their favorite project. The winning app, Assistant in Russian, is an open API mobile personal assistant app which uses artificial intelligence and, specifically, speech recognition technology.

Along with its mission to inform, much of the conference was also about networking. Presenters and participants wore NFC-enabled badges for ease of communication, so they could instantly exchange contact information, send forum materials (program, list of participants, etc.) to their mailbox, and post photos on the conference Facebook page

The conference also featured the Russian Mobile Awards 2013 ceremony at the end of the first day, which was presented as a scripted stage show emceed by popular TV presenter and entertainer Andrey Bednyakov and Julia Lebedeva, Director of Business Development at Nevosoft. The music was provided by the Tavrichesky Capella International Symphony Orchestra.

The winners of the 2013 Russian Mobile Awards were: Jungle Heat (Mail.Ru Games) in the “Best Mobile Game” category, Lingvo iOS Phrasebooks (ABBYY) in the “Best Non-Game App” category, Common Mobile Platform for the City of Moscow (Altarix) in the “Best Mobile Service” category, “All Together,” the fundraiser marathon on Channel One in the “Best SMS Service” category, Tinkoff Mobile Bank  (Tinkoff Credit Systems) in the “Best Payment Service” category, and iPressPad in the “Best Startup” category.

After the award ceremony, all the conference participants were invited to the traditional i-Free Party, where everyone had a great time, mingling with colleagues and partners in an informal setting.

“We did many things differently this year, and not just the formats and focus of the individual sessions. The whole event concept was different,” said Ekaterina Ivanova, who heads i-Free Events and the Organizing Committee of the VAS & Apps Conference. “We wanted the conference to reach out beyond the traditional mobile community – cellular companies, vendors and service providers – to players in new and emerging mobile sectors. Our reward has been dozens of appreciative comments from both our regular participants and first-timers. We are exhilarated by the event’s success and we’re already making plans for the next year.”

To see a photo report on the 10th Mobile VAS & Apps Conference and Mobile Trends Forum, visit the official conference website, or the event’s Facebook page.









i-Free is a Russian innovation company that has operated in the CIS since 2001 and internationally since 2006. The company develops and implements cutting-edge solutions in mobile and NFC technology, electronic finance, digital content distribution, electronic payments and micropayments, applications for smartphones and new network devices, digital products for the B2C market, and B2B projects in mobile marketing.

i-Free has more than 750 employees and is headquartered in St Petersburg with a regional office in Moscow. Outside Russia, i-Free has offices in Kiev (Ukraine), Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Mumbai (India), Beijing (China), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). The company’s products and services are available to consumers and businesses in more than 100 countries.

i-Free partners with the leading mobile operators in Russia and the CIS, with international mobile equipment vendors, banks, transnational brands, major media groups, publishers, and online resources.

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