2013 Trends: Lee Brooks, Product Marketing Manager, Sandvine

In my opinion, the three strongest trends in emerging markets in 2013 are the service innovation that will deliver affordable Internet, the data growth that will result from a growing user base, and the LTE networks that will deliver the data.

Subscribers in emerging markets frequently have relatively lower disposable income, so communications service providers (CSPs) must use network policy control to create innovative services offering high perceived value at low delivery cost.

Operators in Latin America have proven success deploying price-certain prepaid packages that encompass unlimited usage of specific social networking and rich communications services (“revenue replacement applications”). Critically for CSPs, these packages extract maximum ARPU from a willing subscriber base without incurring significant incremental network usage. 

Realistically, not all applications demand little bandwidth; buoyed by progressively capable mobile devices, the mobile networks that dominate fixed-replacement emerging markets increasingly exhibit traffic composition similar to fixed access networks elsewhere, including already significant (and growing) volumes of video traffic. Consequently, more subscribers are demanding more bandwidth, resulting in dramatic data growth. LTE, with its promised speeds and expanding coverage, will prove critical to fulfilling the promise of affordable telecommunications in emerging markets.

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