The industry's 2008 predictions

Matt Lewis/ARCchart
25 Jan 2008

We analysts love sharing our opinions and the start of a New Year is always an opportune time to try our hands at clairvoyance, where we gaze into the wireless industry crystal ball teasing out any indication of the developments which will occur over the coming 12 months. But this year we've done things differently. Instead of turning to tarot cards and tea leaves, we've solicited opinions from professionals immersed in the wireless industry itself, and gathered their views on how they see their market developing over the course of 2008. They responded with genuinely insightful predictions ranging from OMA device management and the emergence of the UI 2.0, to the creation of an eco-friendly handset and the rise of WiMAX in the last mile. Here're the gems of insight they have shared with us:

Location based services will finally happen. Look out for companies that can circumvent the fact that operators will not share cell ID information across networks. Expect a location based social network to grow massive.
Christian Lagerling, Partner, GP Bullhound

Content Providers will continue to move away from mobile until their content becomes easier to onboard: Other than striking licensing deals so other companies can experience the pains of porting content to mobile, expect media companies and content providers to become increasingly frustrated with the difficulty of providing their content pervasively across devices and networks. As 2008 wears on, watch for the key to wooing big-brand content providers back to the mobile table resting in the hands of companies that make it fast, easy, and efficient to onboard content in a widespread manner. Content providers will no longer be satisfied to reach 1/10th of the market simply because the challenge of creation, distribution and porting isn't cost effective, and demand better solutions that provide the ease of WAP with the rich user experience of a downloadable application.
Travis Beaven, Director and General Manager of Consumer Products, UIEVOLUTION

UI 2.0 will emerge: intelligent mobile interfaces. Consumers are complex and unique in their mobile interaction. Applications, content and services are richer but adoption is driven by the user experience so UI 2.0 will emerge in 2008 as a requirement from OEMs and Telco operators: mobile interfaces need to deliver content and applications which are in 'context and personally relevant' to the user.

Indoor coverage will be recognized as a problem. To date, most people use their cellphones for voice or SMS; but increasingly 3G, EVDO and HSDPA are becoming useful and widely used. But indoor coverage is poor - and the move to higher frequencies and higher data rates (WiMAX anyone‾) will make this worse. Solutions like DAS, beam-forming (Arrraycomm, Cisco/Navini) and femtocells will all become increasingly topical.
Rupert Baines, VP Marketing, PICOCHIP

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