SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Steven Lamb, Liz McMillan, Hollis Tibbetts, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Wearables, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

Mobile IoT: Article

The Rapidly Changing Mobile Landscape

2013 predictions for the telco industry

The telecom industry will be challenged in the coming year as operators learn to adapt to the rapidly changing mobile landscape.

2012 was the year of mobile - big brands and Internet companies have just started to realize the potential impact that mobile communications can have on their engagement with consumers. I expect the mobile trend will continue in 2013, with SMS being the most rapidly changing application. Competition between operators and Internet companies will cause these two distinct worlds to work together in different ways. With this in mind, the following are my 2013 predictions for the telco industry.

We will witness a rebirth of SMS.
In times of crisis or low network connectivity, SMS remains the go-to communication mechanism. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents in the northeastern U.S. lost power for days, making the task of voting in the Presidential election a difficult undertaking. To help voters find the nearest polling station, Google set up a custom instance of an SMS-based locator for voters. When disaster strikes, SMS has a major advantage over voice, OTT services and email. This time next year, rather than focusing on "the death of SMS," we'll be discussing "the rebirth of SMS" thanks to its proven reliability and interoperability in times of crisis.

Google and Facebook will take over the world with SMS.
Picking up where they left off in 2012, the world's two biggest Internet players will demonstrate the power of SMS as they spread connectivity into developing countries. With the successful launch of Google Gmail SMS in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, users can manage their email via text message by activating a simple setting on their Gmail account. Google+ SMS also allows users to update their status via text message.

Similarly, Facebook is using SMS to extend their reach into developing countries. For example, "only" 5 percent of the population in Africa and 7 percent in Asia have access to Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook maintains 45 percent market share in North America and 30 percent in Europe. With the mounting pressure from shareholders, these developing markets present a huge opportunity for the social giant to expand its footprint even further.

LTE will drive down the price of devices and access: a winning combination for consumers.
Today, consumers must look no further than their local BestBuy or Apple store to purchase an iPhone or SIM-free smartphone and obtain the data and access separately. LTE will only compound this trend, as mobile operators will increasingly be regarded as a data pipe. Consumers will continue to experience savings and access to new applications while operators will compete with each other on price, speed and better coverage. In 2013, we expect to see four distinct shifts with mobile operators:

  • Device sales will drop and margins on existing devices will narrow.
  • Operators will try to compensate for lower device sales by attracting users with "access" to their network.
  • To prevent further revenue loss, operators will focus on fostering existing billing relationships with customers.
  • Operators will be forced to "go all in" and invest heavily in LTE, thereby weeding out smaller carriers and positioning larger operators with deeper pockets on top.

RCS-e will fail.
The goal of the GSMA's RCS-e standard aims to help operators offer OTT services such as Instant Messaging, chat, video sharing and file transfer using their existing networks. However, there are four key hurdles that we believe will prevent the initiative from succeeding:

  • Late to Market: RCS-e will be hard pressed to compete with services already being used by existing standards and platforms.
  • Little to No Differentiation: While the likes of WhatsApp and Viber have already developed their services, it will be an uphill battle for RCS-e-based services such as Joyn to match what is out there already. There is no compelling argument to switch.
  • Lack of interoperability: RCS-e requires compatible handsets and network infrastructure. As neither of these are widespread, RCS-e will not work on an international scale for some time so it will be less attractive than the existing OTT offerings.
  • Operator-Dependent Business Model: RCS-e is competing against what are now OTT brand names, which offer their service for free or a minimal charge. The dependence on operators to create RCS-e interoperability is a huge hurdle, and will likely make it economically unattractive for subscribers before services have even launched.

Cross-industry alliances between Web 2.0 companies and carriers will be on the rise.
The lure of mobile for new media companies and vice versa will lead to a massive increase in partnerships with carriers. We have already witnessed a number of deals that indicate that this trend is already underway. Verizon now offers Skype mobile VoIP service for 3G smartphone customers while also offering mobile with video on its 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network. Messaging giant WhatsApp has also partnered with 3 Hong Kong for the provision of a WhatsApp-branded mobile data plan and roaming package. In addition, WhatsApp has struck another deal with Indian operator Reliance Communications to bring WhatsApp to college kids for free as part of its MyCollegePlan. Driven by the prospect of the "next big revenue-generator" in the form of mobile services and mobile advertising, in 2013 we will see many more alliances being forged across industries and through the carrier value chain.

Network instability will continue despite the promise of 4G.
Consumers have an insatiable appetite for newer, faster and more reliable access to technology. But the cost of shorter technology lifecycles is usually network instability. Shorter lifecycles mean less time to recoup the operators' investment, which means less testing and lower quality, all of which point to worsening service for consumers - a true dichotomy of supply and demand. While 2G maintained its rank as the industry standard for over a decade, 3G came and went and has already reached the end of its life cycle in half the time. Furthermore, the sheer volume of Internet-ready devices is contributing to the demise of the wireless data spectrum. As a result, smartphone users can expect to experience slower service and dropped connections.

With the emergence of free or low cost messaging services and OTT players, mobile operators have been forced to innovate, rather than rely on traditional voice and SMS services. As revenues are continually threatened, carriers will reevaluate their business models and search for new revenue-generating markets and partnerships. As a result of this innovation, 2013 will prove to be a favorable year for mobile users. Consumers will experience lower prices and new applications as operators and Internet companies compete for market share.

More Stories By Thorsten Trapp

Thorsten Trapp is Co-Founder and CTO of tyntec. He co-founded tyntec in 2002 together with Dr. Ralph Eric Kunz and developed the company's Mobile Messaging platform architecture. He is also responsible for tyntec's technical innovations and intellectual property.

A communications and software expert, Mr. Trapp founded his own IT services company in 1995. He then expanded his experience in the development and hosting of scalable internet server platforms to the conception and implementation of infrastructure for mobile data transport. Thorsten studied computer science and biology at the Technical University of Dortmund.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, the leading provider of modern development tools and best practices for Continuous Integration on OpenVMS, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware products and development tools that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...