Better late than never. Huawei missed the cut for the “turn of the decade” stories that the media published not so long ago, but managed to post its predictions for the next ten yearsonline yesterday.
These aren’t earth-shattering, but give a sense to where the industry’s no.1 disruptor intends to place its bets in the years to come.
Prediction 1: 50b connections with M2M
Huawei believes the “internet of Things” – including sensor networks, RFID and other technologies – will enable ICTs to help “efficiency improvement, scientific decision making, energy saving and environmental protection, and cost savings.”
As a result, connectivity will expand massively from today’s 6 billion people to an estimated 50 billion machines.
Which means “significant opportunities for the telecom industry to surpass population and develop new subscribers.”
The industry hears you.
Prediction 2: Mobile broadband’s golden age
Mobile broadband is in its golden age, with the number of subs likely to will grow tenfold to nearly 3 billion by 2014.
However, the rapid growth and “prohibitive costs will bring many challenges.”
No, Huawei doesn’t actually say what these challenges are. Presumably it is referring to mobile network congestion and the problem of flat-rate, all-you-can-eat tariffs. But it concludes that “in order to achieve sustainable growth,” operators will need to shift their focus from voice to mobile broadband.
Hmm. Didn’t learn a lot from that. Next.
Prediction 3: The cloud is key
Cloud computing has redefined the structure of entire industries – among other things, “shifting consumers from buying products to buying services,” Huawei reckons.
This means “tremendous opportunities” for telcos because the cloud relies on secure and reliable networks.
“Operators entering the cloud computing market can leverage their unique network and subscriber advantages to create new value-added services and experiences by integrating industry content and applications.
“Cloud computing is a key area for operators who want to go beyond [the] bitpipe.”
No arguments there. Next?
Prediction 4: The home network battlefield
The networked home is the next frontier for the user experience, Huawei says. ”Increasing broadband penetration will create uber-connected homes and home networks.”
Most would agree with that, but not necessarily the claim that the past decade was the convergence of telecom and the internet, and the next will be the convergence of broadcast, TV, and the net. Maybe so in China, but elsewhere it doesn’t appear to be true or relevant.
However, telcos would agree that home networking is the “major battlefield for convergence of telecoms, TV and internet.”
“It will provide unprecedented strategic opportunities for operators because of the ‘bi-direction and high bandwidth’ features of the telecom network.”
That’s just what the industry wants to hear.