Grading My 2012 Predictions

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Grading My 2012 Predictions

It’s that horrible time of year to grade my 2012 predictions from a year ago. 

1. 2012 will be year of interactivity.  What does that mean?  The increased penetration of smartphones worldwide, with worldwide 3G network buildout, will enable more mobile interactivity via social networking tools like Facebook and Skype instant messaging. Additionally, in the enterprise, more people will use the collaboration tools such as “sharing”.
GRADE:  B+.  Certainly this is all happening.  And we’re seeing cool new applications, that I would never have thought of in a million years, like SnapChat where pictures “disappear” after 10 seconds.  So the kids keep sending new ones.  I grade myself a B+ because while this is all happening, I don’t know if we all look at 2012 as the “year of interactivity”. 

2. If you buy into the above premise, then it will stand to reason that one way communications such as email and SMS will start to decrease.
GRADE: A. We’ve seen a decrease in this, and it’s accelerated even more than I thought it would, as this report from Wireless Intelligence outlines.      

3. As 3G networks build out around the world, we will see worldwide bandwidth constraint issues like we saw in the US when the iPhone came to AT&T.
GRADE:  B.  We didn’t really see massive newsmaking constraint issues like we saw in 2010.  However, there clearly were some network outages making news in 2012 as indicated in these two hyperlinks.  Glitches in LTE network rollouts make sense as well as massive updating and signaling of mobile phone apps.  Oveall, this is improving however because of better network planning since those original newsmaking issues brought this to the forefront.  So offload to WiFi,  more capacity, upgraded networks and network capacity maximization technologies are all contributing to this becoming a non-newsworthy issue.  And as Diameter rolls out more broadly, we’ll also see this improve.

4. LTE will take the US by storm, at least in the areas LTE will be deployed.  This increased speed will also create new expectations for consumers since LTE very much delivers a wired broadband experience.  As such, consumers will demand the video they are consuming over LTE be of high quality.  We’ll see some issues in this regard pop up in 2012.
GRADE:  B.  LTE did take the US by storm.  However, much like the above answer, the networks are handling the load, even the video load, due to better network planning.

5. Voice will continue to make money.  Let’s not forget that.  Even my kids are realizing it’s sometimes quicker and easier to actually talk.
GRADE:  B.  Yes, it’s still making money, less as a % of overall revenue, but it’s still making money.

Next week I’ll make some predictions for 2013.  I promise they'll be right!

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