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Eye to the Future

Fri, 12/14/2007 - 9:07pm
Rhonda Wickham

One foot in front of the other. Nose to the grindstone. The wireless industry machine pushes forward. But what can we expect in the new year when we take a moment to look at the possibilities?

2007 has been 12 action-packed months of traditional expectations accented with legend-making change agents. Wireless operators continued to build out their 3G wireless data offerings and fine-tune their services and customer relationships. No small task there. Yet, new players interrupted and offered an intoxicating elixir of possibilities that were at once distracting and inspiring. The disruptive forces were at work in 2007 to be sure, and in 2008, we expect a you-ain’t-seen-nothing-yet continuation.

Without question, the Apple iPhone left an indelible mark on the wireless industry. The iCompany unleashed its new device and underscored a number of proof points. It proved that quantum leaps in handset design are possible, a new player could carve out a lucrative global niche and that customers would willingly shell out a hefty price for a hot device, even one without 3G capability.

Google flexed its muscle throughout the year by lobbying hard for open rules in the upcoming 700 MHz auctions, ultimately leaving its fingerprint on the next, and possibly last, great beachfront spectrum auction. For an encore, it introduced its Open Handset Alliance and Android, illustrating how it saw open devices and operating systems shaping up in the future. Although it is unclear if it will follow up with a second encore with the same dogged determination in the auctions next year, Google clearly lit a fire under the “Open” phenom.

Finally, with the 700 MHz auction rules in place and the start date set for next month, the stage is set for more disruption with new bidders, incumbents and public safety looking for a sharing partner.

It is human nature as one year ends and another begins to seek educated guesses about what the new year might hold. Wireless Week asked industry luminaries to share their 2008 predictions. What follows is a collection of those views. At the end of 2008, we will look back and see if we were wise or wishful and if the predictions preordained another hyper-disruptive 12 months for wireless.

 

THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

To compete effectively in 2008 and beyond, mobile operators must focus more strongly on “markets of one,” whereby offering ultra-customized, real-time, personalized services and content will pave the way for Grant Lenahancontinued growth and success.

Just as consumers have come to expect hyper-personalization on the Web through the likes of MySpace, YouTube and My Yahoo!, real-time policy and interactive services are finally enabling service providers to cater to individual tastes, needs and preferences. However, success will require the examination of the customer experience – not the network. By putting the customer at the heart of services with innovative business models, service providers will be able to achieve market differentiation, grow revenues and reach customer acquisition and retention goals.

Service providers must begin planning today to address the challenges and capitalize on the myriad opportunities associated with delivering personalized services.

Grant Lenahan - Vice President & Strategist, Service Delivery Solutions - Telcordia

 

WiMAX, LTE TAKE-OFF 

Fred WrightWe expect mobile WiMAX to gain further traction worldwide in 2008 as operators that were conducting trials in 2007 begin to launch commercial service and more WiMAX-capable devices come to market. We’ll see a ramp-up in LTE development and several field trials with major Tier 1 carriers as the 3GPP standards become solidified. Motorola will continue with its significant investment in WiMAX and commence major development work on LTE along with several other major global infrastructure suppliers. IMS technology will be commercialized with many wireless carriers as VoIP technology matures.

Fred Wright - Senior Vice President - Cellular and WiMAX Networks

Motorola Home & Networks Mobility

 

SMS, MMS IN THE ENTERPRISE

Marty BeardThe enterprise will increasingly leverage SMS and MMS as an effective platform for communicating with customers and distributing applications and information. With the mobile phone being the one technology that most people have access to around the globe, there will be substantial growth in mobile payments and mobile banking services. The widespread adoption of MMS will take hold in 2008 – especially with new capabilities that allow consumers to upload multimedia content directly to their favorite social networking sites via mobile devices.

Marty Beard - President - Sybase 365

 

MOBILE 2.0 DEMAND

Umang GuptaIn 2008, the industry will continue to adapt to the growing demand for the mobile Web in two ways: Open networks will have a positive impact, stimulating the development of new services and applications while simultaneously fueling competition around feature richness, pricing and innovation; and increasing consumer adoption will put the spotlight on improving the end-user’s experience. If we’re not careful, the mobile experience may actually get worse before it gets better. Leading carriers and mobile enablers won’t be able to complete all of the on-network pre-deployment testing alone; in 2008 they will increasingly rely on third-party test and measurement services.

Umang Gupta - Chairman and CEO - Keynote Systems

 

CAN YOU FORESEE WIMAX WITHOUT FORSEE?

Lars JohnssonSo without Gary in the XOHM, WiMAX should be an entirely different beast, or maybe it won’t even be a beast anymore. And wouldn’t that be something to look forward to if: (a) you are Verizon or AT&T and would not to have to worry how to compete with a wireless broadband service that deserves the name; and (b) you are living in San Diego and would not have to worry about the disappearance of the 5% royalty you collect on any wireless handset ever sold. Well, it certainly would be something to look forward to, but for exactly those and many other reasons WiMAX will not go away; no matter how much the incumbents would prefer to keep innovation and change off their wish list for 2008.

Lars Johnsson - VP Business Development - Beceem Communications

 

PICK-10 PREDICTIONS

  1. Miguel MyhrerThe United States leapfrogs Europe in terms of rate of service innovation, user adoption and ecosystem evolution.
  2. Mobile browser dies, replaced by mobile widgets.
  3. Enterprise mobility adoption increases sharply.
  4. Significant growth of wireless data revenue as a percentage of overall ARPU.
  5. Momentous spectrum swapping and consolidation of spectrum holders.
  6. Mobile ads based on content and context will take hold.
  7. Third-party applications see strong surge in the wireless ecosystem.
  8. 4G makes stronger splash in Europe.
  9. LTE camp gets stronger among CDMA operators.
  10. TV broadcasters jump into wireless ecosystem in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia.

Miguel Myhrer - Senior Executive/Wireless - Accenture

 

OPEN ESSENTIALITY

Tom KellyThe magic word for 2008 is “open.” Verizon and AT&T are opening their walled gardens to consumers. The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is opening mobile devices to developers, letting them build whatever new applications they can invent, and giving device users their choice of applications. Finally, because open source Linux already powers more than 35 million devices, and because OHA and LiMo promote Linux as the standard mobile operating system, the wireless world will begin opening to innovations only possible with open source software. Greater openness means that mobile phones will move toward becoming as essential and as functional as PCs.

Tom Kelly - CEO - MontaVista Software

 

REQUISITE PERSONALIZATION

Scott HornIn 2008, the idea that your mobile phone is a very powerful computer will become mainstream. As a result, more attention will be paid to what your phone can do, not just how it looks and feels. When you couple this with the industry’s shift to more open access, there will be an increased focus on how great phone applications add value to all aspects of people’s lives – at work and play. In 2008, we’ll realize that when it comes to phones, one size does not fit all, and that great personalization will be an absolute requirement.

Scott Horn - General Manager - Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business

 

GAMING: TIPPING POINT PENETRATION

David GosenThe change in the mobile games landscape in 2008 will be driven by technology, the consumer and distribution channels. Increasing 3G device penetration will lead to greater content download levels and these penetration levels will reach a point where viral marketing and word-of-mouth will help drive consumer awareness, alongside increasing commitment to the platform from branded properties. The distribution model also will change with further consolidation among content providers and carriers waking up (again) to the fact that mobile gaming is a real revenue generator. The carriers’ walled gardens also will finally start coming down as more direct portals and D2C opportunities emerge. 2008 is about climbing toward that critical “tipping point” penetration level, laying the foundations for significant growth.

David Gosen - President - I-play

 

BROADBAND OMNIPRESENCE

Slim SouissiBroadband wireless will continue to grow at a fast pace and will reach a larger audience of enterprise users and consumers. Stimulated by the ubiquitous deployment of bandwidth-efficient high speed networks and the introduction of state-of-the-art device technology, mobile computing will offer a compelling alternative to fixed DSL lines. As carriers open up access to their networks, innovative broadband applications and services will transpire as fundamental contributors to carriers’ ARPU. A variety of mobile data-centric terminals with primary focus on vertical services will become omnipresent and will invigorate the value proposition of wireless broadband.

Slim Souissi - Senior Vice President and CTO - Novatel Wireless

 

KING OF THE WORLD

Jared ReitzinAndroid, Google’s open platform and mobile software standards group, makes a bevy of promises to consumers – and those who’d like to reach them. The idea is that an open platform – one whose code is available to everyone – results in superior software. Programmers will respond to the market’s needs and create features that consumers really want. It’ll be difficult to displace Windows Mobile and various forms of Linux mobile operating systems, sure. But Google’s Android could well-become the industry standard; its alliance already includes more than 30 mobile operators and handset manufacturers including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and Motorola. Google is clearly blazing a path to take over the world.

Jared Reitzin - CEO - mobileStorm

 

700 MHZ DRIVING ETHERNET MOMENTUM

2008 will see continued acceleration in the transition from voice to voice- and data-centric wireless business models and devices, with the possibility of new operators evolving through the 700 MHz auction, Peter Neilland the use of WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies. Open access, availability of mobile-optimized content, and providers that can aggregate and deliver this content are key to facilitating this transition.

With the recent moves by Google, Verizon and others, we should start to see the availability of consumer electronics devices that will drive mobile Internet adoption. Of course, this is all for naught unless the network can reliably and cost-effectively support the increased bandwidth demands. Therefore, we will see more significant momentum toward replacing copper DS1s with fiber and fixed wireless to support a transition to Ethernet cell site connectivity, and continued growth in backbone network capacity to enable voice and data transport and terminations across the globe.

Peter Neill - Senior Vice President, Wholesale Markets Group - Level 3

 

VOTES ARE IN

Rob LawsonChina Mobile will buy a major U.S. carrier. And off-deck data revenues will surpass on-deck data revenues.

American Idol will get more text votes than the Presidential election gets votes. And the winning presidential candidate will send a celebratory text message to her husband.

Rob Lawson - President and Co-Founder - Limbo

 

MOBILE VIDEO & ADVERTISING

Philip JohnThe walls will fall in 2008. The long-held dominance of mobile carrier networks will continue to crash and we will see the evolution of off-carrier content delivery. Innovative companies will create dozens of new killer apps for hand-held devices. In 2008, mobile video and advertising will truly arrive as companies open the door for advertisers to distribute high-quality video to cell phones and media players, off-carrier and free from the irritation that comes with paying to receive advertising. For the 3 billion users of cell phones, and the wireless industry at large, 2008 will be a very good year.

Philip John - CEO - Clippz.com

 

Andrew WindischWIRELESS OVERTAKES LANDLINE

Consumers’ demand and expectation for quality wireless communication never ceases to surprise us. All segments of our business, including home, SOHO and mobile users expect fewer dropped calls, better clarity and quality service. There will be continuing demand for systems that enhance the wireless experience in the home or office. The acceleration of users cutting the landline cord is moving faster than most expected.

Andrew Windisch - President - Call Capture

 

WIRELESS DEVICE BULLISHNESS

Bob LaikinWe remain bullish on the global wireless device industry. I believe the industry in on track with my previously announced global sell-in range of 1.15 billion to 1.2 billion units for 2007. I have also estimated 2008 global sell-in to be in the range of 1.25 billion to 1.35 billion units. Brightpoint is expected to handle between 100 million and 115 million wireless devices in 2008. Replacement continues to be the single largest factor fueling end-user demand. It is driven by availability of compelling mobile content and enhanced feature/application-rich wireless devices. Proliferation of 3G and converged devices will continue to accelerate the replacement cycle for the next several years. Approximately 15% to 20% of all wireless devices sold in 2008 will be converged devices, up from 10%-15% in 2007.

Bob Laikin - Chairman of the Board and CEO - Brightpoint

 

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?

2008 will be the “what have you done for me lately” year in telecom. Wireless carriers will hold partners accountable for delivering services that directly benefit their bottom lines. As part of that, backhaul Rob Pullenoptimization will become an ever greater imperative, driven by wireless “killer apps” such as music and social networking.

Entrants such as Google and Microsoft will make the mobile Web more of a reality. Verizon Wireless opening the network also will enable the speed of innovation on the mobile Web. Cost-effective solutions for managing the user experience will be key, and GPS-targeted mobile advertising will play a bigger role.

Rob Pullen - Senior Vice President of Global Services - Tellabs

 

UNIVERSAL VOICE

Doug Brackbill2008 will be the year mobile voice becomes universal mobile communications. Users want to communicate with one or a group of associates, friends and family using an array of communications services from voice to text to e-mail to IM to blogging to social networking.  They would like to know availability, preferred mode of communicating, and include relevant content. Game-changing handsets will support this generalized communications model but require close attention to user experience, service integration, rich messaging and contacts and an intuitive user model.

Doug Brackbill - EVP and Chief Marketing Officer - Visto

 

TRICKLE-UP EFFECT

Joe RymszaThe concept of open wireless networks and platforms has been brought to the forefront due to the efforts of Google and Verizon. Although these won’t generate any credible threat to Microsoft or RIM within the enterprise any time soon, expect to see a “trickle-up” effect within the enterprise over the next few years – but not until security, reliability and enterprise-class services are proved to be functionally equivalent to the networks of today. In the same way that SaaS vendors pushed the enterprise boundaries to the Internet, we’ll see a handful of intrepid enterprise software companies test the waters, especially with Android. That being said, none will be ready for prime time in 2008.

Joe Rymsza - CEO - Vettro

 

PRESENCE CATALYST

Allen ScottMobile users are increasingly demanding an enriched interactive experience. In fact, CapGemini estimates that the total install mobile subscriber base that will have Presence and IM will grow from 12% in 2006 to 41% in 2008 and 62% in 2010.  Recognizing that presence is a catalyst for providing interactive services, operators will focus heavily on presence-enabled messaging technologies, such as Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), that strengthen customer loyalty, increase revenues and build the operator’s brand. To ensure a successful MIM strategy, operators will deliver a real-time communication environment that connects mobile users anytime, anyplace. 

Allen Scott - General Manager - NeuStar Next Generation Messaging (NGM)

 

Rehan JalilTHE FUTURE OF WiMAX

With Intel’s promise to equip every laptop with a WiMAX chip in 2008, the new year looks to be a big one for WiMAX in the United States.  However, in order to build and turn up the networks that will support these laptops, the WiMAX Forum will face ending the standards debate in the vendor community and embrace open standards for all in the ecosystem. With open standards in place, carriers will be able to finalize their network plans, allowing WiMAX to become the wireless technology of 2008.

Rehan Jalil - CEO - WiChorus

 

MIDDLEWARE MANAGEMENT

We will see service providers launching OMA DM (Open Mobile Alliance Device Management) services in all three key regions of the mobile phone industry; Japan, Europe, and the United States. As the top-10 global Morten Grauballeoperators are now seeing sufficient handsets supporting OMA DM, they will take advantage of OMA DM in their roll-out of new data services.

As the big Internet and PC players like Google and Apple focus on the mobile space, they (and other players in the industry) will realize the importance of being able to manage application and middleware on mobile phones. Software Component Management (SCoMO), as it is being standardized by the OMA DM working group, will therefore become very hot next year.

OMA DM will move beyond the mobile phones to other types of devices attached to the mobile network, like M2M, or even FMC-related devices, like home gateways or set-top boxes. Carriers will want one protocol to manage all devices attached to their networks.

Morten Grauballe - Vice President of Marketing - Red Bend Software

 

NO PLACE LIKE HOME ZONE

Steve ShawThe home is the next telecom battleground. Mobile, fixed and IP service providers are battling to be the preferred provider of personal communications services (voice, e-mail, IM, social networking). For mobile operators, the macro radio network is too costly and doesn’t provide the performance needed to win this battle. Therefore, operators are turning to micro radios (femtocells, Wi-Fi), and broadband to launch the next generation of home zone services, known as “Home Zone 2.0.” HZ2.0 lowers costs and improves performance, helping mobile operators own the home. T-Mobile’s HotSpot@Home and Sprint’s Airave are early HZ2.0 services. 2008 will show how the other operators respond.

Steve Shaw - AVP of Marketing - Kineto Wireless

 

A HANDS-FREE FUTURE

Steve ChambersIn 2008, wireless mobility and device convergence will continue to increase, changing not only the amount of time people use their mobile phones, but also the way they interact with other wireless devices. As the popularity of the Ford SYNC commercials have shown, people want the ability to access information, entertainment, messages and more without the constraints of small keyboards and tiny screens. Nuance believes that speech-enabled technology will continue to infiltrate all relevant consumer devices, navigation and automobiles. I predict that we will soon see more people adopting hands-free, eyes-free access to the consumer electronics devices and automotive entertainment systems.

Steve Chambers - President Speech Solutions Division - Nuance Communications

 

ALL IP, ALL OF THE TIME

In 2008, the drive toward “everything over IP” will continue as network operators bring new multimedia applications to market to further reduce costs. What started as a core network transition has now moved Keith Cobblerinto access points, into mobile phones and customer premise equipment, dramatically changing how services are delivered to the end user.

With the acceleration of converged multimedia services and savvier consumers, operators must ensure quality of experience to retain customers by viewing their networks not only from a network/element perspective, but also from a service level perspective. Only then can they reap the benefits of all-IP multimedia networks.

 

Keith Cobler - Marketing Manager, Network Management for North America/Japan - Tektronix

 

Dave OberholzerWATERSHED MOMENT

Much to everyone’s chagrin, it will turn out that the Verizon Wireless open network announcement is not a negotiating ploy, but a very real strategy, and a watershed moment for the North American wireless industry.

Dave Oberholzer - Vice President of Corporate Development - Limbo

 

Jim OrrWiMAX’s SWEET 16

2008 is the year we celebrate the WiMAX “Sweet 16” coming-out party. The technology is old enough to stand on its own, but still needs a lot of guidance and hand-holding to make it to adulthood. The first commercial networks of mobile WiMAX will launch to great accolades, but will be limited in scope this year while we wait for devices to catch up. Oh, and my Dad will finally replace his analog cell phone.

 

Jim Orr - Principal Network Architect - Fujitsu Network Communications

 

MOBILE WEB MAKES MONEY

Eran WylerAs consumers are increasingly breaking free from their desktop computers, the demand for Internet content on cell phones will become the leading source of average revenue per user (ARPU) for mobile operators. According to GSM Association, 1.3 billion people are expected to be connected to the Internet via cell phones, by 2008. Recognizing this fact, wireless operators will step up their efforts to provide a high-quality mobile Web-browsing experience to motivate consumers to go beyond basic searches to more advanced activities, such as mobile shopping and mobile social networking.

Eran Wyler - CEO and Founder - InfoGin

 

SPECTRUM & SATELLITES

Drew CaplanDemand for spectrum is insatiable. We see spectrum in 700 MHz, AWS and other newly available bands being overwhelmed by demand in coming years as the Internet increasingly goes mobile. In response, we predict creative spectrum-sharing technologies such as UWB and ATC. The latter will see technology trials in 2008 and will soon contribute significant incremental mobile spectrum for next-generation services, while integrating satellite connectivity. With UWB, large swaths of spectrum are effectively re-used to provide high data rates for personal area networks, eliminating the need for costly dedicated spectrum that would otherwise be required. Similar techniques will proliferate over time.

Drew Caplan - Chief Network Officer - Mobile Satellite Ventures

 

FEMTOCELLS: MOVE OVER, IPTV

Brian WoodFemtocells have sparked a massive following in the second half of 2007 and will continue to grow to full conflagration in 2008. Rarely has a new technology attracted such immediate, widespread attention by so many key industry players spanning wireless handsets, wireline infrastructure, set-top boxes and silicon vendors. Positioned squarely in the perfect storm between today’s 2G and 3G deployments and tomorrow’s full LTE and UMB nirvana, femtocell deployment and adoption rates will deliver headline-grabbing hype rivaling IPTV in 2007 and IMS in 2006. Expect customer premise converged devices and rapid cost compression to be the key femtocell themes.

Brian Wood - Vice President of Marketing - Continuous Computing

 

SMS MALPRACTICE

Jonathon LinnerConsumers and legislators will get tired of premium SMS malpractice. As consumers vote with their feet and the government threatens legislation, carriers, mobile content companies and TV networks will be forced to – and will – react quickly.

The demand for SMS advertising will be high, but the inventory will be in short supply, therefore, CPMs will increase. And mobile marketing will grow 10 times faster in 2008 than online advertising.

Jonathon Linner - CEO and Co-Founder - Limbo

 

ROSY OUTLOOK

1) Convergence and innovative content will drive revenue growth. Although subscriber growth has been the principal driver of wireless services revenue, that will begin to change as subscriber growth slows and the expanding data applications market leads to accelerating growth in average revenue per unit (ARPU).

Grant Seiffert2) Personal and business wireless will continue to thrive. Smaller routing and switching technology, along with increased spectrum availability, will give consumers, municipalities, small and medium-sized businesses and other individuals a bigger stake in how they access wireless.

3) The U.S. wireless data market will surpass other developed countries on price, speed, bandwidth capacity and other key metrics. Wireless technologies will not be limited to GSM and CDMA, but will include other advanced technologies. Recent governmental policies aimed at creating more spectrum opportunities for innovative technologies will drive wireless data performance metrics across the board, and Congress’ new push to gather robust information about broadband penetration and uptake will give rural carriers the tools they need to deploy advanced networks intelligently.

Grant Seiffert - President - TIA

 

MOBILE CULTURE CLUB

• Development of a mobile culture: The masses are beginning to play games on their handsets in airports, during lunch breaks and while waiting in lines. There’s a recent acceptance of mobile content among Scott Rubinconsumers thanks to education efforts by publishers and carriers.

• At-your-fingertips connectivity moves to mobile gaming: With the rising interest in connected content and communities, games with networked components continue to rise in popularity giving consumers the opportunity to add more to mobile gaming than standalone gameplay.

• We’ll continue to see consolidation among developers and publishers as carriers become more selective about who they work with and what titles make it to the deck.

Scott Rubin - Vice President of Sales and Marketing - Namco Networks

 

SMARTER PHONES, FASTER USERS

Lee HancockPhones will continue to get smarter, offering virtually all mobile users faster and easier access to richer content through the wireless Web, which will become pervasive. Where there are consumers, advertisers will be in hot pursuit, and the new enablement and support of the advertising business model by wireless carriers will support a new breed of mobile-centric content and service providers developing  compelling applications around the specific needs of mobile users. To flourish, the mobile Web will need to spawn its own Google’s, Yahoo’s and eBay’s.

Lee Hancock - Founder - go2 Media

 

EMERGING STRATEGIES

• Consumer companies will go beyond SMS marketing and ringtone downloads from promo codes under bottle caps. They’ll start deploying useful handset applications and create content messaging services that tie in tightly with their brand identities and even make use of in-store, retail marketing initiatives.

• The iPhone will continue to be hugely successful and the one to beat. Other companies will have a hard time catching up; the device is great now and will be even better with 3G and the developer SDK.

Jiren N. Parikh• Kajeet will be the first successful tween MVNO. It has a great model, good distribution and seems to have a handle on the business.

• A traditional, global multiproduct consumer company, without the carrier, (not Apple, which has already done it in some way), will deploy a service that will allow its own consumer devices to actually connect to each other (plasmas to mobile devices to media center PCs and even their retailing partners).

• The first of many carriers will start deploying solutions that allow consumer handsets to connect directly to a multitude of Web 2.0 services, and even home devices, seamlessly and not try and push users to their own branded photo and community portals.

• The global off-deck consumer mobile content and application aggregators will see major changes (declining margins, increasing cost of acquisitions and limited unique content) and ultimately consolidate and change business models to offering free premium content. Possibly the first of advertiser-driven Web decks.

Jiren N. Parikh - Senior Vice President & General Manager - Exclaim

 

ENHANCED MOBILE BROADBAND

Faster device processors coupled with easy-to-use interfaces like the iPhone, Android Phone, Voyager and Amazon Kindle [wireless reading device], will grab our attention. We have built the networks; now we have to leverage them, so you will see an array of new applications hit the market that leverage fast 3G networks. Perry LaForgeThe operators’ walled garden will continue to exist, but show signs of opening up. Data will continue to grow to the delight of all the operators.

Applications like user-generated multimedia content and location-sensitive mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-Web services will develop momentum. Mobile 2.0 will become a popular buzzword, and like Web 2.0, no one will know exactly what it means. Unique approaches to getting Internet content/video to the phone will begin to flourish. Convergence will gain popularity with greater focus on three screens. In other parts of the world, the success of 3G will push other countries like India and Brazil to finally assign 3G spectrum. On the domestic front, U.S. operators will spend billions on the 700 MHz spectrum with the auction rumor mill in full swing throughout the year.

Perry LaForge - Executive Director - CDMA Development Group

 

IT FLEXIBILITY

In 2008, new access technologies will deliver broadband to more users, and devices like the Apple iPhone David Sharpleywill increase the percentage of mobile broadband users. Faster speeds and user-friendly interfaces will revolutionize the industry by making mobile use more enjoyable and by creating huge revenue opportunities for providers – for digitized content, gaming, user-generated content and social networking.

However, with this growth will come an increased need for flexible IT systems to manage diverse, complex services, bundles and partner models. We will see significantly more providers consolidating IT architectures to not only enable these changes – but to allow them to thrive.

David Sharpley - Vice President of Product Marketing & Channels - Oracle Communications

 

APPS, APPS EVERYWHERE

Danny LocklearThe days of simple cell phones are over. Voice is still king but users want more. Whether it’s quick file downloads that make working from the road easier or mobile TV for entertainment on the go, demand for bandwidth-hungry mobile apps is going to drive network traffic to new heights in 2008. Fortunately, we’ll also see continued enhancements of EV-DO Rev. A over the next year that will support these real time services and more, like Push to Talk and Push to Video. It also will be a big year for 4G with WiMAX going into full commercial launches and LTE standards being finalized as major trials get under way.

Danny Locklear - Director of Mobility Access Product Marketing - Nortel

 

WLAN CORNERSTONE

Luc RoyWireless is a keystone in building out any company’s enterprise mobility strategy, as it extends the physical reach and functional capabilities of the corporate voice network. Many of today’s enterprises are looking to employ key industry standards and additional enhancements to make a WLAN that is voice-optimized and as secure, reliable and capable as a wired LAN. 2008 looks to be an exciting year for wireless as many important standards (802.11n, 802.11r) are ratified or reach their final phases. These upcoming standards fit well with the enterprise focus on VoIP and FMC to expand quality voice outside the office to the extended campus and beyond.

Luc Roy - Vice President, Enterprise Mobility - Siemens Communications

 

INCREASED MOBILE TV ADOPTION

The U.S. market for mobile TV is rapidly growing, spurred by the success of Verizon’s mobile TV launch. Analysts estimate the U.S. mobile TV market at 8 million subscribers and rising.

Mobile TV in the United States will be bolstered in 2008, driven by the further deployment of MediaFLO and work by its governing body, the FLO Forum. The consortium recently announced its OpenCA architecture, which presents a unified standard for content protection and enables operators to offer higher quality content to its customers. The introduction of additional premium content is expected to spur consumer growth.

Doug Lowther - Vice President of Sales and Marketing - Irdeto

 

Forget the Forklift

Kevin OyeThe rapid expansion of wireless applications will continue to drive demand for networking technology that allows mobile operators to efficiently scale the underlying broadband network while maintaining high availability and survivability. As traditional infrastructure networks evolve to accommodate next-generation mobile communications, operators will rely on advanced multiservice infrastructure solutions that ease network migration and facilitate intelligent management of service capacity. These solutions will require new capabilities such as "any port, any service," integrated IP/Ethernet transport, and dynamic optical mesh. As base stations evolve from ATM-over-TDM to IP-over-Ethernet, for example, an intelligent multiservice solution with hybrid functionality (e.g., TDM, IP, Ethernet, DWDM) provides mobile operators with a cost-efficient toolkit for network migration - one that eliminates the need for forklift upgrades.

Kevin Oye - Vice President of Systems and Technology - Sycamore Networks

 

Application Bundling

Jeremy De BonetWhile sales of mobile applications are up, they are still far below what was predicted by analysts years ago. One of the reasons for the slower-than-expected growth has been the WAP content delivery infrastructure, which is simply too slow, too complicated, too unattractive and too limiting to be an effective enabling substrate for discovery and commerce. As the mobile market evolves in 2008, the next step will be the combination of not only three, four or five offerings into a single bundle, but the combination of hundreds of unique experiences built into a single application. By pushing the responsibility of consumer discovery into the application and off the WAP deck, more content will be discovered and consumed, ultimately leading to dramatically increased consumer adoption and increased sales growth.

Jeremy De Bonet - CEO and Founder - Skyward Mobile

 

Golden Age of Mobile Apps

John PuterbaughWith the success of Google's mobile applications (e.g., Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube) and Yahoo! Go, content providers and mobile operators, following the consumers' lead, are warming up to dedicated applications again for mobile. The verdict is still out whether a browser is the best vehicle for presenting and mediating the 2-inch mobile experience. On higher-end phones, such as the iPhone, it is clear that the browser will have a seat at the table. By moving from "closed" operating systems to operating systems with published APIs (e.g, Symbian, Google, Microsoft), applications will be able to provide a much better and deeper integration with the key aspects of the mobile phone (PIM, calendar, camera, location, video), which will enable developers to set a new bar for rich, interactive mobile applications and services. 

John Puterbaugh - Founder and Chief Strategist - Nellymoser

 

Rev. A to Rev. B

In 2008, mobile operators in North America, Europe and Asia will begin initial deployments of femtocells. These devices will dramatically improve in-building coverage and allow operators to offer low-cost, in-building calling plans for voice and data services on consumers' existing phones. Leading CDMA operators will roll out packet voice services - such as Push-to-Talk - over EV-DO Rev. A and commence market trials of VoIP services over Rev. A. Finally, in response to growing demand for faster mobile broadband services, certain CDMA operators will commence broader trials of EV-DO Rev. B technology.

David Nowicki - Vice President of Marketing & Product Management - Airvana

 

Enterprise Deployments

Mort RosenthalIn 2008, we will break down the barriers that have thwarted widespread adoption of enterprise mobility. Enterprises will demand they be treated as such, and not as the sum of 10,000 consumers. We will see partnerships with existing mobile industry players that will serve this new and valuable market segment. Manufacturers will begin creating enterprise-specific devices that arrive ready for the end-user to be up-and-running, and will begin carefully sharing product plans in order to help enterprises make educated buying decisions. Finally, enterprises will seek partners that can manage their entire mobility ecosystem to alleviate the fear, uncertainty and doubt that have long plagued large-scale mobile deployments.

Mort Rosenthal- Chairman and CEO - Enterprise Mobile

Consumerization of the Enterprise

Jim HemmerMobile application development will become cool – and profitable. The emergence of true high-impact mobile applications (beyond e-mail) for field sales, service and other organizations with mobile employees will be spurred by a breakdown of the network carrier “walled gardens” following the recent announcements of Google and Verizon and the rise in usage of open source IDEs. Software developers will recognize the value and profit of developing mobile applications for the enterprise just as they do for developing more traditional Web or PC applications. Consumerization of the enterprise was a big trend in 2007, and the launch of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform will further elevate this concept into real deliverables on vendor and enterprise product roadmaps. Motivated by advances in the consumer market along with the collective demands of Generation Y-ers entering the workforce, companies will be expected to raise the bar on all facets of the user experience, especially through richer user interfaces and more personalized, easily accessible content.

Jim Hemmer - CEO and President - Antenna Software

 

TIME IN A BOTTLE
Wireless Week will continue to add predictions to our online version of this feature.

Send your prediction for 2008 to rhonda.wickham@advantagemedia.com.

It should be roughly 100 words, include your name, title, company and headshot.

 

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