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January 05, 2011

Telecom Market Predictions for 2011 From InCode

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

InCode, a division of Ericsson, has released its annual predictions for the telecommunications market in 2011. Here are some of the highlights:

“New Love Connection.” In 2011, the market conditions are right for a new major category of connected devices to emerge and quickly be adopted. E-readers have shown that special function devices can be profitable when the experience is customized to a task. Look for consumer electronics firms to win hearts with new purpose-built connected devices—most likely digital cameras or navigation devices—and operators to embrace them as an incremental revenue source.

“AD-apting to the Mobile Environment.” For years, mobile operators have attempted to combat the "dumb pipe" moniker with largely unsuccessful forays into content distribution, web portals and application marketplaces. In 2011, operators will begin to launch customized mobile marketing programs—such as distributing anonymous user profile data direct to advertisers—in an attempt to outwit Apple, Google (News - Alert) and Microsoft while driving long-sought ad revenues.

“Nobody Gives a ‘G.;” Mobile operators have been incorporating 3G and 4G marketing messages throughout 2010 to demonstrate their use of the most advanced technology "Generation." In 2011, expect one major cellular operator to buck this marketing dynamic and create a new basis for competitive positioning. With the proliferation of powerful 1 GHz processors, the application marketplace and chic user-interfaces powering a more enjoyable customer interaction, we will begin to see operators downplay the importance of the network "G" and emphasize the "gee whiz" factors of user experience and quality.

“Innovation Across the Nation.” In recent years, telecom operators have faced a barrage of competition from non-traditional telecom players who have attempted to relegate the operators to dumb-pipe status. To combat this, operators have tried to create value in connectivity by focusing on network innovation in the race to 4G. In 2011, operators will increasingly seek to compete on the basis of product differentiation.

“Back by Popular Demand.” The position of power in the media value chain has shifted back to on-demand content owners and aggregators as the need for on-demand content reaches more devices, platforms and locations. In 2011, Incode believes that one of the leading technology giants will attempt to acquire an on-demand provider, such as Netflix, as a means of vertically integrating and assuming control of the value chain.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

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