The proliferation of LTE will be a major trend in 2013. There will be:
- faster launches of LTE
- growth in smartphone adoption
LTE: Growing stronger year over year, rollout and launch of faster (LTE) networks will continue in 2013. In emerging markets it will happen more easily (no/less legacy networks & systems to support) and will foster new business models in H2H and H2M communications. The reasons to deploy LTE networks are obvious: they are cheaper to build and maintain and boost data traffic/revenue. Yet LTE products should mature and create new synergies. Emerging MBB markets will not necessarily follow the projection of LTE pioneers.
Proliferation of mass market smart mobile devices: Hi-end and mid-range segments are adequately represented. However, they are not sufficient to unleash the potential of LTE networks for the transformation and/or creation of new value chains/models/paradigms.
There are several candidates for number three position, in my opinion. On the one hand M2M continues to grow critical mass, and NFC is still emerging. At the backend, IT systems and BSS in particular, should become simpler, more efficient and transparent, more convergent, if you like.
Operators will invest in removing charging silos, which are now hindering growth. Virtualization and cloud, which are expected to go beyond the hype phase, should contribute to this.