Continuing with my ten most important matters for 2013:
7. 4G Service Area Expansion – with the advent of 4G, mobility has finally reached the business professional. While the wireless carriers tend to be less than specific about how many of the subscribers use 4G or the actual percentage of their networks covered by 4G, several have been very specific in identifying the amount of investment they will make to expand their service areas with AT&T leading the pack announcing they will $8 billion over 3 years. The expansion of 4G services is very important due to the growth of 4G compatible devices. The Samsung Galaxy III, Apple iPhone 5, HTC, Motorola and many others manufacturers now offer 4G phones. The adoption rate is increasing for these phones, tablets and other wireless devices that can take advantage of 4G.
8. Windows 8 – This new operating system from Microsoft may not be a winner in the corporate world for another year or so. However, it may create inroads for Microsoft with handheld devices. With RIM on the ropes, Microsoft sees Windows 8 as its best opportunity to signup OEMs delivering mobile devices. Thus far the reviews and expectations for the product have been less than stellar, but the year is young.
9. USF/ICC Transformation Order – the devil is in the details. How this order is implemented, enforced and endorsed by the courts and Congress is of significant interest to our industry. The NTCA and major ILECs are petitioning the courts to force the FCC to delay enforcement and modify the order. Much remains to be done before the order is accepted as the new way.
10. The US Government – with the fiscal cliff behind us and nearly nothing resolved regarding spending and the deficit, Congress and the President will be at it again as the country attempts to raise its debt limit. The lack of willingness for the two parties to sit down and develop a workable solution risks our tepid economic growth and prolongs an uncertain business environment. Key business leaders supporting both parties have pleaded for this to be resolved allowing them to turn their attention to other critically important issues. The lack of a clear plan impedes employment, investment, purchasing decisions and many other core business activities. Tax reform, deficit cutting and entitlement changes will make for an economically volatile year.
For those who didn’t get the title of this series of blogs, think “In the year 2525, if man is still alive…”