As 2012 drew to a close, research consultancy Juniper Research drew up a list of predictions for the coming year, all neatly wrapped up as the top trends for the mobile and wireless industry for 2013.
The No. 1 Prediction: Big data will become big business. While the scale of data generated by mobile sensors, services and applications presents challenges to network providers, the data itself can provide insight into consumer behavior and allow service providers to anticipate future patterns. Hence, 2013 will see not only continuing, dramatic growth in consumer data usage, but a far greater demand for actionable, predictive analytics solutions from players across the mobile value chain, although in some countries adoption may be tempered by concerns about consumer privacy and data protection.
The other nine trends, which are explained in detail in a free report, are:
- Smart glasses and other head-mounted displays developed by Apple, Microsoft and Google will provide a multitude of functions either independently or in conjunction with third-party platforms.
- The “bring your own device” trend will continue in the workplace, bringing with it increased risks for corporate espionage and other security threats and necessitating a global overhaul of critical security structures.
- In an effort to combine and monetize online and offline revenue chains, retail will embrace in-store mobile strategies, including a proliferation of free-to-the-public WiFi hotspots and increased usage of QR codes and other electronic product-demonstration techniques.
- Mobile network operators will adopt new standards and initiatives for seamless WiFi and LTE connectivity, thereby relieving some of the pressure on overburdened 3G and 4G networks.
- Mobile will replace hardwired devices as the primary “connectivity hub” for an increasing array of everyday items equipped for wireless connectivity, resulting in widespread adoption of the “Internet of Things.”
- The Surface Tablet and Windows 8 will help Microsoft — traditionally a bit of a laggard in the mobile realm — exploit its nascent potential as traditional computing becomes more mobile.
- Content and applications will become common and increasingly synchronized across both fixed and mobile devices as the long-rumored multi-screen, seamless user experience becomes reality, thanks in part to cloud computing.
- New mobile and tablet form factors will emerge, giving rise to convertible devices that combine touch-screen technology and traditional keyboards with bendable, twistable, foldable and rollable devices.
- Social gaming will rise to prominence, with real-money and free games tightly integrating with major social networks — particularly in the EU but also possibly in the U.S
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