Verizon's Mead also pulled out examples of mobile's good works, such as a wireless robot avatar that goes to school for a boy in Texas who can't leave his room because he has virtually no immune system.
Mead emphasized the carriers' cooperative spirit, which he said has allowed roaming and text-messaging interoperability and the entry of "the companies the designed the two most important operating systems in the world today" -- without mentioning Apple and Google by name.
"Cooperation has allowed all of us in the wireless industry to come a very long way in a very short period of time," Mead said. "Progress is going to require much more of the same."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.