20 Dec 2012
4. Retail to embrace the in-store mobile strategy
Increasingly, retailers are perceiving mobile not merely as a means of driving foot traffic to their physical outlets, but as a mechanism with which to marry (and maximize sales through) their digital and physical assets.
Expect to see far more deployments of Wi-Fi hotspots by leading retailers, not merely to enable general consumer browsing, but no enable both "push" and "pull" interaction with consumers - allowing the latter to search for additional information on products and to receive offers and discounts while in store, together with facilitating product demonstrations and catalogue checking by employees.
5. Operators to adopt seamless Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity
With operators around the world embracing Wi-Fi as a key technology to offload their data, the challenge for an operator is to get heavy data users onto the Wi-Fi network quickly, easily and seamlessly. Operators are increasingly expected to complement their next generation cellular network adoption with Wi-Fi hotspot rollouts in a bid both to assuage pressure on their 4G networks while simultaneously driving overall usage and user numbers.
New standards and initiatives will allow seamless Wi-Fi-LTE technology, assisting operators in improving user experience, applying policy control and enabling operator policy preferences along with secure access. 2013 will witness an added momentum to the scope for a consistent WiFi-LTE roaming experience from a technical and commercial perspective.
6. Mobile becomes the connectivity hub
The term ‘mobile’ no longer refers to a cell phone in isolation. Objects around houses, businesses and neighborhoods are being enabled with wireless connectivity, with the mobile device as the control hub.
These objects then communicate with each other through a digital connection.
One of the key areas expected to harness this technology in the forthcoming year is retail, as people can use their own smartphone or tablet in-store to overlay product information and make purchases (see 4, above). Likewise, in the healthcare field, body sensors can enable information about an elderly patient to
be displayed on a hospital or family member’s smartphone or tablet, detailing if they have had a fall.
Mobile phones and tablets will become increasingly important in their role as the hub. With the implementation of this technology, these devices could conceivably connect all someone’s objects – furniture, valuables and cars - transforming their day-to-day lives, but also raising privacy concerns.
As sensors become smaller and cheaper, people are able to set up their personal networks and it is expected that new companies and industries will develop as a result of the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things.