What will 2012 bring the wireless industry? Wireless Week asked industry professionals for their opinions, and if their input is any indication, the industry will see LTE become a significant boon for M2M technology. Value-based pricing models will be all the rage, replacing those old “unlimited” plans. Enterprises will finally embrace the “consumerization” of IT – after many consumers bring the digital gifts they received over the holidays into their places of employment come January.
That’s not all. LTE will change how people manage their health and wellness. NFC will open more doors – literally. And remember those desk phones? More of them are going to become works of nostalgia – not much more than a place to catch those voicemails that get ignored or deleted. Of course, those are just a few prognostications. Read on for more.
NO MORE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL FOR MACHINE-TO-MACHINE SECTOR
Alex Brisbourne, President and COO, KORE Telematics
More and more, the M2M story is about ensuring global connectivity. It is about infusing critical systems with improved borderless connectivity, automation and control.
2012 will be a year when the three pillars to global service and support for M2M take center stage: a high-reliability, “pole-to-pole” network infrastructure; tariff plans that not only account for global device distribution but also cut to the ebb-and-flow nature of M2M device usage; and an integrated technology platform designed to ease the process of device provisioning and management. One size no longer has to fit all. 2012 will begin to yield some answers as to the long-term utility of 2G technology, particularly as a means to “serve the machines.” This conversation will begin to take center stage.
OPERATOR CHARGING STRATEGIES MOVE TO VALUE-BASED MODELS
Jonathon Gordon, Director of Marketing, Allot Communications
As the application revolution continues, so will the scope of OSS/BSS in the mobile world. There are three stages in the evolution of mobile charging.
The models are:
• Volume-based (charging subscribers based on time, volume or speed)
• Value-based charging (charging based on associating different values with different applications)
Allot predicts that the market will move quickly into value-based charging in 2012 and views the market today in between volumebased and value-based charging models with unlimited on its way out.
As operators deploy advanced traffic management solutions that allow them to monitor, meter and charge for subscriber consumption of over-the-top (OTT) applications and content, early movers are already transitioning into the next phase of the mobile charging evolution.
Value-based charging enables operators to differentiate and charge for different application and content usage; and therefore, offer personalized service plans that best reflect the unique value of different applications and usage patterns to different types of subscribers. One example of a value-based data plan is a Social Networking Plan that makes applications such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter zero-rated, while all other application traffic is counted against the monthly quota. The result of value-based charging will be increased operator profitability and subscriber satisfaction.
THE NEW YEAR NETWORK & THE COMING DEATH OF DESKTOP CABLES
Ben Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer, Aruba Networks
Due to economics, sheer consumer will and perhaps an asteroid strike, wiredbased communications will see a rapid acceleration to extinction in the enterprise workplace in 2012. The telling signs will include:
• One-third of all desk phones will become nostalgic desktop deco, with an increasingly lonely power-over-Ethernet port providing not much more than mood lighting and notification of voicemails caught, ignored and deleted.
• Overblown, living room-sized telepresence systems, once expected to be as common as a Starbucks on every corner, are relegated to set pieces for political action thriller movies – all replaced by Facetime and Skype.
• Total Ethernet switching desktop port shipments will catch up (or down) with their associated revenue spiral in 2012.
• The new cool: A new, uber-mobility corps of trained IT professionals will rise in 2012, bringing the killer combo of wireless, security and mobile device management to bear against the overwhelming march of the prosumer and BYOD.
• And lastly, moving into 2012, the holiday shopping season becomes the new, annual Year 2K phenomenon for enterprise IT shops. With prosumers bringing their new smartphone and tablet “toys” back to work, IT leaders can only hope to get the rest they need over the holidays to deal with the New Year Network!
DIAMETER SIGNALING HEATS UP
Ben Volkow, CEO and co-founder, Traffix Systems
The Diameter signaling market is really heating up as 4G networks are rolling out and more and more smart data-consuming devices are introduced. Analysts forecast that the volume of signaling in 4G will be 40-50 times greater than it was in legacy networks. Looking towards 2012, our company already feels operators’ rising interest in our Diameter signaling solutions.
It’s no wonder that with an expected 5 billion mobile data subscribers in 2012, the Diameter routing market is expected to go over $1 billion annual in the next few years.
Some of this interest stems from pain points due to the network fragmentation that LTE brings. LTE’s new elements, such as policy management and enforcement and online charging, cause complexity that in the absence of Diameter protocol solutions slow down the network.
Signaling used to be one of the most boring subjects in network planning. But 4G, with the huge number of use cases and surge in smartphones that cause constant signaling, among other reasons, has catapulted signaling to center stage in the 4G story. Diameter signaling has become unquestionably a “make-or-break” issue for any service provider in 4G and is also of key importance for many use cases in 3G.
COWBOYS AND HOMETOWN HEROES STEP UP TO THE PLATE
Cheri Beranek, CEO, Clearfield
With the challenge of the economic climate continuing, there will be debate as to whether 2012 will be officially stamped as a recession. Regardless of the official economic status, we find ourselves in a futuristic world driven by bandwidth-hungry smartphones and devices that are impacting every part of the communications industry.
This has created a demand-based business environment that requires intelligent spending and proof of compelling ROI. We predict that we will see more and more service provider “Cowboys and Hometown Heroes” stepping up to the plate to solve the difficult challenges. We call them Cowboys and Hometown Heroes because they are the early adopters of new technologies that will do whatever it takes to properly, quickly and affordably get the job done. Watch for growth in broadband deployment projects using scalable and modular products that align capital equipment expenditure with subscriber revenue.
THE DEMISE OF 240P RESOLUTION VIDEO, RISE OF HIGHER QUALITY
Chris Koopmans, COO, Bytemobile
We expect to see demand for 240p video content disappear in 2012. Bytemobile has tracked video resolution by subscriber request over the past year and found that mobile users are moving from 240p to 360p and 480p video content. They are also demanding higher-quality videos across all device types. In 2012, we will continue to see higher-quality and increasingly sophisticated devices come to market. Today, Apple’s iPhone 4/4S display supports 640p resolution, iPhone 3G/3GS supports 320p resolution, and Samsung just released the Galaxy Nexus with the first 720p resolution screen. The devices are already there to support resolution higher than 240p. And it’s not happening just at the device level – most YouTube content is available at higher resolutions and premium content on sites like Netflix is available at an even higher resolution.
If the devices are there and the content is there, then what is the issue? The network is the issue. Subscribers are choosing lowerresolution content so that it plays smoothly. As mobile operators continue to compete for data subscribers, they have realized how important the video user experience is. Carriers are already turning to video optimization and traffic management technology to manage video demand based on network conditions. As their networks become more efficient and able to support higher-quality videos, their subscribers will consume higher-resolution content, increasing the overall quantity and quality of videos consumed per user per session. While we may not realize it in the coming year, we are on the road to High-Definition content on every mobile device.
4G USHERS IN VIDEO
Dave Williams, Chief Technology Officer, Stoke
• Spectrum is becoming so scarce that forms of Wi-Fi offload will become more and more prevalent.
• Cable operators will join mobile broadband operators in adding Wi-Fi as part of their offerings.
• Wi-Fi security will be a major focus. Devices on 4G work wonderfully on Wi-Fi, but users are a) invisible to the operator and b) vulnerable to security threats. Operators fear costly class action suits if security breaches happen. They need a solution that makes this untrusted network trusted.
AS LTE NETWORKS LIGHT UP, OSS/BSS GET UP TO SPEED
Dan Ford, Vice President, Product Marketing, Oracle Communications
More than 200 wireless providers worldwide have committed to deploy and/or are testing commercial 4G LTE networks, with scores of LTE network launches expected in 2012 alone. While operators have made significant investments in these new networks, many have yet to ensure that their existing operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS) are able to rapidly launch, personalize and monetize the diverse, bandwidth-hungry services operators are depending on to recoup their LTE investments.
As smartphone and tablet adoption rises, more consumers will find their devices to be an indispensable tool for researching, locating and buying the products and services in their everyday lives. The resulting searches, rich-media product comparisons, targeted offers from merchants and mobile transactions will consume growing network volume and create trillions of new event records for operators to analyze and act on in real-time.
Further, we expect LTE to be a significant boon for machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, providing the bandwidth needed to support rich M2M applications and meet growing consumer expectations for continuous connectivity. Yet, M2M will not only require highly-flexible and agile back office systems, but robust business intelligence capabilities to handle the data tsunami to come.
2012 will be the year that the LTE winners of tomorrow ensure their back offices have the scale and agility required to not only survive the data wave, but to ride it.
ORGANIZATIONS SUPPLANT DESKTOPS, LAPTOPS WITH TABLETS
David Halpin, Vice President of Engineering, Quickoffice
Organizations are increasingly adopting “Bring Your Own Device” policies and leveraging cloud computing technology to facilitate a more productive “work anywhere” mobile workforce. In 2012, we predict this trend will continue to grow – as will the challenges these new devices and connectivity options bring to the workplace.
Email will no longer be the “killer app,” as the cloud will start to serve as the main vehicle for transferring and sharing documents across mobile devices. To address associated security concerns, businesses will evaluate the cloud as a delivery mechanism, rather than a master of data, which stores information virtually and permanently in the cloud.
As professionals demand more mobile flexibility, 2012 will bring enterprise-wide deployment of essential business applications across a heterogeneous mobile and tablet OS environment. This will lead to an influx in productivity and mobile security, along with device management solutions that reassure IT administrators that confidential information is fully secure and encrypted. An increase in powerful, enterprise-level collaboration tools will enable organizations to slowly supplant desktops and laptops with tablets. This will lead organizations to reconsider their Microsoft Office license agreements, as expensive software may not be needed for all users, replaced by more lightweight mobile Office options that address their needs at a lower price point.
Lastly, 2012 will bring more hybrid HTML and native applications. The hybrid approach offers developers and consumers the best of both worlds, marrying greater flexibility with the ability to run many platforms, while enabling access to underlying OS and devicespecific features.
SECURITY IS TOP OF MIND
Jamie de Guerre, Chief Technology Officer, Cloudmark
1: The further consumerization of IT will force companies to implement security policies that may not be fully vetted. Users in the workplace will continue to request personal devices to be leveraged in the workplace in lieu of company-sponsored devices (i.e. iPad and personal mobile phones) with expectations that IT should support them. This will present IT departments with policy and security challenges as well as risks associated with them.
2: Over-the-top (OTT) messaging will see its first messaging threats. As the number of mobile users utilizing over-the-top messaging services increase, scammers will consider these trusted communities a target-rich environment and the number of targeted attacks on this channel will rise considerably.
3: The first big mobile attack penalty will be levied. We saw the first major email attacks and ensuing court cases in the mid-1990s. Mobile operators are fortifying their messaging infrastructure with security measures to address attacks and fraud. As a result, we’ll see the first major court action taken against illegal mobile activity next year.
4: Mobile subscribers will insist that their operators make mobile security a top priority. With the ubiquity of mobile devices and their prevalence in our daily lives, mobile users will require service providers to ensure secure communications.
Subscribers will be willing to participate in keeping their devices free from fraud and spam and will expect a means by which to report this unsanctioned activity, similar to how email spam can easily be reported to service providers today.
EXPLODING DATA DEMANDS = GROWING PAINS
Jim Poole, General Manager of Global Networks & Content, Equinix
Consumers today have an insatiable appetite for mobile content and are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever before. At the same time, they demand a high-quality experience from applications that require large amounts of bandwidth. With a truly broadband wireless network (LTE) on the horizon and the demand for mobile video exploding, 2012 will bring a unique intersection of circumstances to the mobile industry for the first time in history.
With traffic growth predictions skyrocketing due to the consumption of mobile video and applications, mobile network operators could face a significant gap in their current architecture and ability to scale. This gap mirrors the growing pains that the wired Internet faced nearly 15 years ago as data demands exploded and networks were unable to handle the capacity.
In order to learn from the past and deliver high-performance, high-value end-to-end mobile broadband solutions, the industry needs a more efficient and scalable reference architecture that makes it easier, faster and less expensive for MNOs to scale their capacity to meet demand. One place a more efficient architecture for mobile infrastructure can be found is in neutral data center hubs. These “mobility centers” house dynamic ecosystems and provide direct access to service sellers and buyers that span the entire mobile value chain, from network service providers to social networking, digital content and financial services companies. As a result, MNOs will be able to achieve the capacity and rapid scaling they need while reducing long-term operating costs.
THE COMMODITIZATION OF OPERATORS
Mike Manzo, Chief Marketing Officer, Openet
Operators have been put in a difficult place over the last few years, as consumers grow more restless with congestion and two-year contracts, and device makers and content providers are now the leaders in innovation. Market pressures and historical business behavior have left operators with declining revenues and an incredibly unhappy customer and partner base. Let’s not forget that operators missed several opportunities to innovate and be at the forefront of consumer popularity with things like app stores. It’s hard to see how operators, with all of the cards dealt against them, will find a way out of their current predicament.
As such, 2012 will be the year where operators start to become commoditized, either by being bought out or regulated into utilities. Think about it. Device makers like Apple or content providers like Google are wildly profitable and have the cash to buy what is needed to make their products succeed. Operators are becoming a burden and slowing down the ability of devices or availability of content. These companies won’t wait much longer – as Google already bought up Motorola Mobility, an operator is probably not far behind.
CARRIERS SEEK TO OPTIMIZE COVERAGE, DIFFERENTIATE
Khurram Shiekh, Chief Technology Officer, Powerwave Technologies
It’s unquestionable that mobile data traffic will continue to explode in 2012, but it remains to be seen to what extent it will continue to grow. At this point, the growth seems limitless. Mobile data traffic foot print of a single user is expected to grow 450 times between 2005 and 2015. Plus, average users are predicted to send and receive approximately 16 GB of information annually across their mobile devices by 2015. As a result, wireless carriers will look for ways they can best optimize coverage and expand services to deliver the fastest and most reliable coverage, at the lowest cost.
The explosion of mobile intranet/extranet, mobile Internet, simple and rich voice communications, multimedia messaging, customized infotainment and location-based services all contribute to the growing need for faster wireless speeds. However, mobile Internet will emerge as the “killer application” driving the deployment of 4G wireless networks in 2012. We will also see a decline in unlimited wireless data access plans, which will create a stronger need for carriers to deliver differentiated quality of service (QoS) offerings. Consumers will expect ubiquitous, reliable and fast wireless coverage, both indoors and outside.
As a result, 2012 will bring wide global penetration of 4G/LTE wireless communications. “Open network and service” models may give rise to LTE cognitive self-healing networks. We also foresee new macro-urban “smart-city” technologies leading to converged telecommunications, energy management, building automation, safety and security protection and even networked entertainment solutions.
NEW M2M APPLICATIONS CONTINUE TO EMERGE
John Horn, President, RACO Wireless
The focus of the future is widening the gap between the machine-to-machine (M2M) sector and the rest of the mobile industry. In fact, as traditional subscriber adoption reaches saturation, carriers are eager to find new areas of growth. Consulting firm Analysys Mason recently forecasted that the number of M2M device connections will grow from 62 million in 2010 to 2.1 billion devices in 2020, for a 36 percent year-over-year growth rate. That’s significant growth. And the range of potential applications for M2M technology – along with the number of vertical industries in which those applications can save money, resources and time – gets broader every year.
We will see much more of an emphasis on M2M in 2012, as carriers begin to understand that in a volatile world of ever-changing consumer behavior and spending cycles, M2M applications are rock-solid, and the revenue is indisputable. In addition, more companies will come forward with new M2M solutions – like telemedicine, where hospitals are using video diagnostics for remote patient monitoring, remote security that relies on video or GPS systems to help keep track of loved ones and pets.
MOBILE GIVING 2.0: TRENDS FOR 2012
Jenifer Snyder, Executive Director, The mGive Foundation
In the last 24 months, $5 and $10 mobile donations have raised more than $50 million for nonprofit organizations in the United States. A recent study by marketing agency Barkley, “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation,” backs up this success, noting Millennials use their mobile phones for nearly 50 percent of charitable giving.
Along with the continuation of leveraging mobile donations to contribute nonprofit fundraising efforts, 2012 will also see three other major mobile giving trends:
• Expansion of Mobile Giving – Mobile giving will not be limited to just financial contributions. This dynamic platform can help charities expand the way people give through education initiatives, volunteerism and awareness programs.
• Mobile Communication Integration – Mobile will be integrated with all other outreach strategies because it is a ubiquitous way to reach a huge audience through a spam-free channel. Mobile engagement is quickly becoming a key tool in overall communications and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
• Mobile Technology Advancement – Advances in technology will make mobile giving and engagement even easier. The use of short message service (SMS or text) will be further integrated with other technologies including interactive voice response (IVR), mobile commerce, social media and QR codes.
The combination of these trends will allow nonprofits to take a step beyond their existing communication and philanthropy strategies and catalyze a new phase of growth for supporter and constituent evolution. This evolution will make this industry one to watch in 2012.
IT POLICY MUST REFLECT NEW DYNAMICS IN THE ENTERPRISE
Lars Kamp, Director, Accenture Mobility Services Strategy and Corporate Development Lead
• Mobile devices go Quad: Chips that simultaneously process four streams of data without compromising battery life will increase computing power enabling developers to write complex software that delivers speed, vastly-improved graphics, multimedia experiences, and enormously improved mobile phone-based web experiences with next-generation Internet software.
• High-performance enterprises will embrace the consumerization of IT: After initially denying and then resisting “bring your own devices” over concerns related to complexity and security, high-performance businesses increasingly will embrace consumer devices to lower costs, increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction. This will create a mixed device environment where private and social data from native and Web apps reside alongside mission-critical enterprise data. Innovation speed will double as enterprise
IT moves to the one- to two-year innovation cycle of the mobile Web, driven by consumer smartphone replacement, rather than the three- to four-year desktop cycle, driven by corporate purchase policies.
• Borders between enterprise and private data will blur: Employees interacting with customers over third-party social networks will use their customers’ social data for decision making.
Consumers will convert points from loyalty reward programs into currency at the point of sale in real time, paying with their smartphones.
IT must rethink policies assuming limited enterprise access, providing secure, reliable access to mission-critical data and applications and popular consumer applications from mobile devices in diverse locations, tracking and managing assets in constant motion.
As employees demand more smartphone usage and capabilities, IT policy must reflect new business-consumer dynamics.
LTE ADVANCES HEALTH & WELLNESS
Head of ng Connect and Vice President of Emerging Technology and Innovation, Alcatel-Lucent
Today, wireless, cloud and other next-generation technologies are opening doors to applications most of us have only seen in science fiction movies. While this technology is affecting many industries, health and wellness is one area we see taking a major leap forward in 2012.
And it’s more than just healthcare; it’s the equipment and services that can affect the average person’s everyday life. Imagine:
• Advanced wireless and cloud computing technology that can turn today’s home exercise equipment into a virtual trainer that provides on-screen avatars (based on body scanning and imaging) and real-time remote virtual rooms where people can interact as if they were actually at the gym.
• Wireless sensors, cloud computing databases, body scanning imaging and more will allow people with chronic conditions or recovering from surgery to have constant at home monitoring and virtual interaction with the medical community (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc.)
• And the service vehicle will be taken to the next level thanks to LTE. Emergency vehicles can tap into traffic patterns in real time to take the most direct route and then connect with doctors wirelessly in route, so the doctors can have information on the status of patients before they arrive and so much more.
THE FUTURE OF NETWORKING IS IN THE SOFTWARE
Sandy Orlando, Vice President of Marketing, IP Infusion
2011 was an exciting year for the networking industry. The pace of innovation in networking has changed how we look at designing, developing and building mobile networks. Legacy systems are no longer sufficient because mobile traffic growth is accelerating rapidly and traditional networking equipment can’t keep up with consumer demand.
The industry is currently going through a major shift, moving away from hardwaredominated solutions to a network defined by software platforms. This change is necessary moving forward into 2012 and beyond as the industry innovates at breakneck speeds to accommodate billions of new mobile users, the advent of Big Data and the emergence of cloud services. The availability of commercial networking chipsets has changed the economics of the network, driving commoditization of hardware and the emergence of software-defined networking (SDN).
Organizations such as the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), founded by Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo!, will be influential in accelerating the delivery and use of SDN standards. We joined the ONF because we saw a long time ago that software was the future of networking and we wanted to take a leadership role in the acceleration of SDN. In 2012, software networking adoption will accelerate and solutions will allow network equipment manufacturers and service providers to take advantage of software innovations while leveraging their existing investments.
MDM LEADS WAY FOR CONTROL, SECURITY IN BYOD WORLD
Sunil Mariola, Vice President, Product Management, Smith Micro
Introducing new mobile devices into the enterprise workforce has presented many challenges for business, operators and mobile workers alike. In 2012, mobile device management (MDM) technology will provide mobile operators (and their end users) with solutions to control and mitigate security issues associated with mobile device management, including remote connections, mobile hotspot usage and non-standard software configurations when employees bring their own devices to work. Over the next 12 months, operates will need to find a way to offer a better, more intuitive experience for end users. We predict they will leverage tools to ensure their customers are empowered with greater control over security and data usage while at the same time providing a more streamlined user experience.
The consumerization of IT will continue to fundamentally change the way the enterprise functions. The list of consumer mobile devices will only increase with time, and employees will continue to use their personal mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, Androids, e-readers and more) to connect to the enterprise network. While IT departments are struggling with how to manage an increasingly mobile workforce, they’re only seeing the tip of the device management iceberg. Mobile hotspot control, data-sharing, configuration management and security will play a significant role in enterprise adoption of mobile devices. Operators and device manufacturers who focus on helping enterprise IT to better control devices and mobile users will have an advantage in growing their enterprise business in 2012.
LOOK AT NFC TO OPEN DOORS
Tam Hulusi, Senior Vice President, HID Global
You never leave the house without your wallet, keys or smartphone. NFC technology will start to simplify our lives by organizing our keys, payment and loyalty cards in a smartphone. While considerable attention has been focused on using NFC for cashless payments with smartphones, 2012 will begin deployments of digital keys to open your office building, your car and maybe even your home.
NFC-enabled physical access control already has been successfully piloted at Arizona State University (ASU) using our smart card technology on a smartphone instead of a plastic card, and also at Clarion Hotels, where guests were able to open their hotel room doors with their phones upon arrival.
The ASU pilot was conducted using a variety of popular smartphones on all major mobile networks. In initial feedback, approximately 80 percent of participants said using a smartphone to unlock doors is just as convenient as using campus ID cards, and because the smartphone was always carried, provided less instances of forgotten badges.
The benefits of mobile access go well beyond the convenience of having your keys on your phone. Smartphones can be used to update access rules for an individual over the network and use NFC technology to send a trusted, cryptographically secure message to the door that it should open based on those rules. This will enable deployment of inexpensive yet robust access systems for applications like interior doors, filing cabinets and storage units for valuable or controlled materials (e.g., pain-relieving drugs) where it previously would have been prohibitively expensive to install a traditional wired access control infrastructure.
TIME FOR OPERATORS TO CASH IN ON MOBILE GROWTH
Vikram Saksena, Chief Technology Officer, Tellabs
In 2012, you’ll see many more “connected homes.” Walk into your local electronic stores and you can see why. Increasingly, TVs and Blu-Ray players are equipped with Wi-Fi connections. Set-top boxes are being slowly replaced by connected devices such as Apple TV. Consequently, more and more transactions take place directly between cloud providers and users, bypassing carriers almost completely except to stream more traffic over their networks.
In addition, the healthcare, automotive and energy industries will solidify the groundwork for revolutionary M2M structures. Utility companies will implement more smart grid solutions. More and more devices will transmit data to the mobile Internet. And many will continue to run third-party services, often delivered from the cloud.
People are relying on the mobile Internet for more things than ever – from their personal communications, to business, to keeping the lights on. Yet operators’ role seems to be diminishing.
Of course, if the operator’s network goes down, so do all of these services. But operators don’t see much additional revenue in that model. Users expect good quality of service. The key is for operators to provide unique value for both end users and third-party application providers – beyond quality of service – to turn mobile Internet growth into a golden opportunity.
Operators will need to make changes to their networks and business models. They need smarter networks that enable them to create new, two-sided business models. The time is now. By making the right moves in 2012, they can really start to profit from the exploding growth.
FEDERAL IT MANAGERS DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE MOBILE STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS SECURITY
Will Hedrich, Federal Security Architect, CDW-G
With the rapid growth in mobile device use, we see the need to configure security solutions for multiple mobile platforms as a key issue for federal IT managers now and through 2012. The consumerization of IT within the workforce – federal employees included – means that workers are increasingly using mobile devices to create and share information. While using mobile devices can increase productivity, without the right security protections in place, mobile computing can open the door to new threats and increasing threats.
Until recently, a complete solution for locking down the mobile workforce did not exist. In 2012, we expect agency CIOs and IT managers to develop comprehensive mobile strategies and solutions to control the use of mobile devices and operating systems that access critical information. If IT managers are not already, they will start asking the essential questions: How do we gain visibility and control of the devices currently on our network? What users are accessing the network via mobile devices and when? How do we prevent information leaks?
The right security solution will guard against malware and spyware, track which users are accessing data and when, set access permissions by application and location, enable encryption and remote lock and wipe, include location tracking and allow agency IT managers to control and update a variety of devices and operating systems from a central console. Strategies also will need to look beyond the device, to the data center and cellular carriers to ensure that security is built in to their networks.
BRANDS EVALUATE, IMPROVE MOBILE MARKETING STRATEGIES
Joe Gillespie, CEO, Zoove
2012 will be the year mobile moves from a siloed marketing strategy to a key component across a brand’s entire marketing plan.
Big brand marketers have been asking for years, “How can I extend my brand into mobile?” Many are wasting millions of dollars every year with mobile campaigns that are independent of, or in some cases completely disconnected from, their overall strategy. In the coming year, they need to step back and ask, “Is my mobile strategy working?”
Now, in their defense, mobile hasn’t made it easy. Limited device functionality, a fractured content system and user apathy combine to create a high barrier to entry. Fortunately, these barriers are disappearing. Smartphone penetration is nearing critical mass, technologies like QR codes, StarStar numbers and SMS short codes are growing in use, and consumers are more willing to engage via mobile than ever before.
As companies evaluate ROI of their mobile initiatives, marketers will revisit their marketing strategy with close attention to the following:
1. First, because mobile technology changes so fast, marketers will favor content distribution technologies with universal compatibility that can reach consumers no matter what device they are using.
2. Second, to get their mobile technologies found, marketers will ramp up advertising efforts with the use of QR codes, StarStar numbers and short codes.
3. Finally, data measuring the effectiveness of mobile marketing will climb in demand, the results of which will drive adoption of marketing efforts that “work” while competitors are left behind.
The world is ready for the mobile strategy at last and 2012 will be the year where we finally begin to see it resonate.
THE YEAR OF CLOUD, MOBILE AND 802.11AC, 802.11AD
Lewis Lustman, Director of Marketing, ZyXEL Communications
802.11ac and 802 11ad, the latest and fastest Wi-Fi iterations, are definitely sparking interest among businesses and consumers alike. 802.11ac is the replacement for 802.11n standard. It increases speeds by increasing the amount of wireless bandwidth instead of adding antennas and spatial streams – primarily functioning in the 5 GHz spectrum,
Expect to see, at CES 2012, a lot of innovation surrounding 802.11ac and 802.11ad, delivering up to 1 gigabit per second and 7Gbps, respectively. Gigabit wireless will make wireless multimedia streaming even more prevalent and ubiquitous than it is today – both for consumers and businesses. Adoption of bandwidth-intensive applications like video conferencing will continue to grow as businesses see benefits in improved collaboration and reduced travel costs.
Another trend is the explosive growth in the use of multiple portable devices. Increasingly people are seen with multiple Wi-Fi devices such as a PC, tablet and smartphone. While the use of mobile devices significantly improves the responsiveness of their employees, businesses will struggle to provide security to all these different devices as well as securing their corporate network from them. This also will increase interference in the commonly used 2.4 GHz spectrum, forcing the adoption of 5 GHz technology, including dualband Wi-Fi devices.
Finally, cloud-managed Wi-Fi is also set to take off for businesses. The flexibility, convenience and economy of scale offered by cloud-based systems will simply be too huge to ignore. Cloud management is already prevalent in large enterprises, but new solutions that are specifically designed for the needs and budgets of SMBs will help penetrate the market.
INCREASED USE OF FEMTOCELLS IN SPECIFIC TROUBLE AREAS
Eric Moore, COO/CTO, Axis Teknologies
In 2012, wireless telecom is going to see:
• Several advancements in Active DAS systems, such as an increase in the use of femtocells in specific trouble areas – not widespread but they will become a tool in the box to improve network quality and customer satisfaction.
• This increased use of femtocells will open new doors into SMART cities, advanced software for autonomous operation, along with supporting 4GPP standards for LTE.
• M2M will increase as small cell wireless technology improves, enabling SMART cities applications to be leveraged – improving data flow, while reducing cost for companies like electric utilities, public safety and increasing security for citizens.
• To support new and faster technology, backhaul services will be upgraded not only in capacity, but copper will be replaced with fiber, because fiber allows operators greater flexibility in capacity management and faster speeds, supporting data rates customers expect.
• A significant shift from voice to data will continue and will increase as M2M applications leveraging wireless networks increase.
• Spectrum will become more important, meaning efficient use of current spectrum and the potential need for additional spectrum.
• White space will be able to be used for rural and urban areas as Wi-Fi and wireless services are leveraged to fulfill the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.
HTML5 WILL BE THE TIPPING POINT FOR WIRELESS INTEGRATION IN CARS, HOMES
Andrew Poliak, Director, Automotive Business Development, QNX Software Systems
Imagine this scenario: Your favorite applications exist everywhere – on your tablet, your phone, and your car – and they provide a tailored user interface for each device.
Meanwhile, your in-dash infotainment system will blend content from your car, your mobile and the cloud so that it will know where to go from your phone’s contacts, when you need to get there from your calendar and the best way to get there from live traffic feeds.
And this is just the start. Mobile device integration with in-car systems has been a hot topic in 2011, but there have been dissenting views as to how car makers will best link mobile devices to automotive systems in a way that creates a seamless user experience. Until now…
In 2012 and beyond, HTML5 will be the answer. It will become the common glue for integration of your life’s content (music, movies, calendar, news, etc.), creating a scenario where the user’s experience from camera to laptop to tablet to cell phone to car is as seamless as turning on the TV and changing channels. HTML5 will let car makers develop one set of applications that connect with all mobile devices (regardless of brand), cut development costs and allow for a safe, yet very personalized in-car user experience. HTML5 already has a rich developer community, providing car makers with access to Flash-like animation, speech integration and personalized graphical user interfaces.
MOVE OVER, iPad
Albert B. Chu, Vice President, Global Alliances & Market Development, ACCESS
I believe that in 2012, digital publishing will be on fire because of three significant trends: The Amazon Kindle Fire will accelerate the tablet market growth; self-publishing will be the next YouTube phenomenon; and China will lead the growth in eBooks.
While the Apple iPad exits 2011 with 90 percent of all tablet Web traffic in the U.S., I predict that the Amazon Kindle Fire will give the Apple iPad a run for the crown. Within a crowded pool of competitors, the Kindle Fire is the only tablet with a complete ecosystem of infrastructure and content – and a business model backing – that’s competitive to the iPad’s ecosystem. Plus, I think Amazon’s customer service support will give them an edge in satisfying their customers.
While more and more traditional publishers are embracing digital publishing, I predict that in 2012, one in five eBooks will be selfpublished. Self-publishing will be the next YouTube phenomenon, where any aspiring writer can publish and distribute their eBook without having to go through a publisher.
Lastly, in 2012 more eBook titles will be sold in China than any other country in the world. Not only does China have the population base to support this leapfrog jump to eBooks, but also because of China’s significant Internet adoption growth, low barriers of entry to publish eBooks and a cultural instinct to read and learn.
EXPOSING MORE APIs
Michael Crossey, Vice President of Marketing, Aepona
• Network operators will start exposing more advanced APIs such as quality of experience (QoE).
Operators will want to move beyond offering “standard” APIs such as payment, messaging and location, towards more advanced, composite APIs that allow content providers to offer tiered levels of service quality to their customers.
This will allow operators to more effectively monetize the investments they are making in data network infrastructure as well as providing content providers and consumers with greater choice and pricing flexibility.
• Mobile operators will start to de velop a competitive edge in mobile pay ments by leveraging their unique assets to augment mobile payments solutions with value-added capabilities such as contextual awareness for the delivery of highly targeted, relevant offers and coupons to the mobile wallet, and to enable multiple payment options including direct-to-bill.
They also will provide more streamlined identity, authorization and consent management to enable a lower-friction customer experience for mobile payments.
• Network operators will begin to aggregate, merchandize and deliver a wide variety of third-party products and services, both cloud-based digital services as well as physical goods, to complement their existing service enablement solutions.
This allows operators to take advantage of existing channels to market and foster customer relationships, enabling them to upsell their customer base with relevant offerings on top of their core services.
For more industry predictions, check out Wireless Week's In My Humble Opinion.