Pocket battleships v pipes in the air: mobile players vie for $600bn prize

Google and Microsoft make their forays into an industry struggling to cope with radical changeAfter a decade of promises, the mobile internet has arrived. So too have the giants of online business, which see the coming of reliable internet on the move as a lucrative mass consumer market that cannot be left to the mobile phone operators. The mobile industry is worth £300bn a year and with more than half the world’s population now owning a mobile phone, that figure will only grow.How to tap into that cashflow will be on the minds of executives from across the world when they gather for the industry’s largest annual trade show today in Barcelona, which promises to be dominated by the plans of the likes of Google and Microsoft to enter the mobile market.The industry’s dominant handset supplier, Nokia, also seems to have turned against the mobile phone networks, launching its own online and music services direct to customers.

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