Juniper Research’s top ten wireless predictions

Staff Writer
04 Jan 2010

8. At least 10 LTE networks will be launched into service

The year 2010 will be when Super fast mobile broadband in the form of LTE, offering speeds up to 100Mb/s to the device could finally arrive- some 40 mobile network operators have committed to LTE build-out and Juniper believes that at least 10 will enter commercial service in 2010 in Japan North America and Europe.

Smart phones, flat rate data tariffs and sophisticated (often video) apps will drive the bandwidth demand, which will in turn drive the need to build the LTE networks.

But with the cost of an LTE build out coming in at $1bn plus for a medium sized country, some operators are understandably looking to use HSPA for as long as possible: after all, mobile broadband is commercially deployed in 285 HSPA networks in around 100 countries with approximately 170 million connections.

9. Smartphones to get augmented reality makeover

Augmented Reality (AR) is still in its infancy on the mobile: until Q2 2009, just a single AR app – Wikitude – was available for a single handset (the G1). However, with a raft of new Android handsets fitted with the key AR-enablers – cameras, Internet, GPS, accelerometers, digital compasses – and with the launch of the similarly-equipped iPhone 3GS and Nokia N97, new AR apps are emerging every week.

In 2010, these launches will accelerate dramatically as other smartphone vendors begin to incorporate digital compasses and accelerometers in high-end handsets. Meanwhile, more handsets will feature preloaded AR browsers to encourage consumer adoption of the technology.

10. Christmas Kindle sales expected to herald the rise of the connected embedded consumer devices
If Christmas sales of Amazon’s Kindle eReader are unlikely to grab quite as many headlines this Christmas as the IPhone managed to in 2008 and 2009, Kindle reaching the Christmas best seller-list in the US could be good news for operators, particularly if it heralds a new revenue stream.

A host of consumer devices with SIM cards embedded directly into the device itself could be on their way, from gaming consoles to cameras, but for the time being eReaders are all the rage.

As with most good ideas, it has not taken long for others to follow suit- eReaders are already on the shelves at the book seller Barnes & Noble, publishing house Hearst through (Spring Nextel), and a launch from Murdoch’s News Corp is round the corner.

The challenge for operators, of course, will be to cut themselves into some of the content revenues in an increasingly crowded market- it is unfortunate, then, that Sprint, Amazon’s carrier partner, cannot manage an international roll-out for Amazon for lack of GSM coverage. That honor will go to AT&T instead.
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