10 telecoms, media and tech predictions for 2016

By Larry Goldman

1. The contest for worldwide dominance in low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networking technology will be confined to NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) and LoRa.

2. The most important M2M sector in 2016 will be connected cars – the number of connected vehicles will increase to over 150 million, with the largest operators reaping the benefits.

3. Google will decisively intervene in the communication services market with Android N: it will support Rich Communications Suite (RCS) services natively while also opening up the handset’s native dialler to third parties.

4. Operators will be extending service reach to non-SIM devices such as tablets and watches; they will also integrate real-time features into IoT initiatives, such as smart homes and connected cars

5. The proportion of mobile operators that offer fixed broadband services will rise to above 50 percent worldwide in 2016.

6. Average monthly data consumption per household will exceed 100GB in developed markets in 2016.

7. Operators and equipment vendors will increase the adoption rate of LTE-A to enable mobile broadband speeds above 500Mbps and support the transition to 5G.

8. Communications service providers (CSPs) will prioritise short-term gains over new service delivery opportunities. As a result, network function virtualisation (NFV) spending will nearly double in 2016, outpacing software defined networking (SDN) spend, to account for more than 20 percent of the $9.5 billion software-controlled networking market.

9. Network virtualisation technology will enable distribution of content delivery elements much closer to the mobile edge to improve customer experience even as video traffic grows, as demonstrated by at least one high-profile “mobile edge computing” commercial deployment.

10. CSP to digital service provider (DSP) conversions will increase in 2016 and will require stronger relationships with digital content providers, including video and music distributors. 

Larry Goldman is Research Practice Head at Analysys Mason

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