150 not out


    For the first time in more than five years there is a new name at the bottom of this page. My predecessor, Catherine Haslam, whose wisdom and wit illuminated not just this page but the whole magazine for the past five years has left for a job in the industry in which she now feels at home. I can only thank her for leaving behind a magazine as well-read, respected and valued as a new editor could hope to inherit. Perhaps I could resent her a little too for giving me so much to live up to.

    I was there with Catherine when she began her journey into this industry, and I too have found it to be by far the most rewarding, fast moving and interesting market I have reported on. In her valedictory message Catherine said that she felt she had seen the mobile communications industry go through a turbulent adolescence — but that it was now about to enter an incredibly rewarding adulthood. Well, Mobile Europe too has shadowed that life journey, and now you find yourself reading the 150th issue of the magazine.

    Since 1990 the title has, under some excellent editors, including the highly gifted and not forgotten Peter Sayer, become the monthly magazine for the European mobile industry. No expensive re-brandings, no lunging after the latest trends, no deviation from the brief to report on and explain the issues affecting Europe’s mobile operators, their suppliers and customers. Looking through the back issues it is instructive to see how uncertain the industry always was, and still is. Would the move from analogue to digital bring rewards to justify the expense? Who would be able to take on the dominant Motorola on handsets? How could national operators support and profit from international roaming? What about this predictive text input software, would that take off? What is the penetration ceiling – 30%, 50%? 75%? Can we get our own churn rates down yet port our competitors’ customers? How much money are we losing to fraud? And then over and over again and still current, what is the best route to pick through the signs labelled HSCSD, GPRS, EDGE and WCDMA? And now more pressingly, how do we create, provision and deliver services to use over all this stuff?

    As you can tell, I am aware of the heritage and role of this magazine and, having been lucky enough to work on it in the past, am only to keen to do what I can to continue the good work. If the goodwill I have encountered in the short time since assuming the role is anything to go by, it is going to be as much fun and as rewarding as I knew it would be when I took the job.

    You know we can’t give you the magazine you want to read without the support of our advertisers — so to all of them over the years you have our great thanks as we notch up our 150th run. Also, the advertisers know there is not much point supporting the magazine without a loyal readership to target. To all the readers who have supported us with your tips, suggestions and responses over the years another huge thank you. Please keep them coming in: you can contact me at