2014 will be a breakthrough year for LTE in emerging markets. Where deployed it will begin to have a real impact, dramatically increasing the speed of mobile internet and helping to expand new markets.
Low-cost smartphone handsets will begin to stimulate growth for data services, opening up opportunities in m-Commerce, m-Banking and m-Health. China awarded LTE licenses in 2013 and China Mobile alone is expecting to connect 50m devices in 2014, of which 40m will be TD-LTE.
Cloud Computing will be one of the biggest influencers, with growing acceptance amongst both large and small organisations. In emerging markets the pay-per-use model is proving very attractive, particularly for SMEs wanting enterprise class features at affordable rates. Telcos and MNOs will start to bundle a range of IaaS and SaaS services to meet the needs of both SMEs and larger enterprises.
OTT TV will offer growth opportunities. Expansion of broadband and LTE networks, coupled with developing technologies such as CDN and adaptive bit rate streaming, are opening up emerging markets across Latin America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Established operators and smaller niche players are racing to invest in OTT video services delivered over web, tablets and smartphones.
Mike van den Bergh is the Chief Marketing Officer of PCCW Global.