It's that time of the cycle when pundits are supposed to pronounce weightily on the year ahead.
One analyst firm has cleverly risen to the occasion by listing events that won't happen in 2008. While I also predict that rotary dial phones and analog mobile won't make a comeback, let me sketch those things that I am looking forward to in "Ëœ08:
- The iPhone landing in Asia. Not just because it's a sexy product, but because Apple has persuaded US and EU operators to surrender a share of service revenues. Can Apple work over Asia's notoriously parochial carriers in the same way‾
- The adventures of Android. Google and friends have a mountain to climb with mobile Linux in the competitive OS space. We'll see the results of their early efforts this year.
- 4G. There will be vastly more heat than light. But in this inter-continental bout between the Chinese, the Japanese, the Europeans and the Americans, I will enjoy the heat.
- Singapore's broadband tender. The dice are always loaded in favour of the incumbent in these exercises. How far will SingTel have to stretch to win this one‾
- The new Australian government, like its predecessor, grappling with the complexity of broadband for all and (not-unrelated) a truculent Telstra.
- China Mobile trying to make mobile TV work at the Olympics. They will discover it goes better over 3G. Elsewhere, mobile TV and IPTV will make more headlines than dollars.
- This year's web sensation. It might be that Chumby, a widget-driven personal Internet device, will be a gamechanger. And even if not, the web will once more be the biggest source of new competitors and revenues for Asian telcos.