Smartphones have taken over the worlds of IT and communications and served as nothing less than a revolution for business and society. While just about everyone has a smartphone these days, however, the mobile industry is still very much growing and evolving.
Here are five mobile trends to watch in the next few years.
1. More bandwidth. Users are getting used to anywhere Internet access and the ability to stream videos, interact with real-time communications and move around files from their mobile devices. LTE (News - Alert) gives mobile devices a boost of speed, but expect that trend to continue as users demand bandwidth that accommodates whatever data transfer is needed.
“The on-going expansion of the mobile sector, together with demand for higher-bandwidth applications and services such as video and gaming, is continuing to apply significant pressure on the industry to increase the availability and quality of broadband connectivity,” noted Andrew van Niekerk of Teleforge Communications, a tier-3 voice solutions provider.
2. Seamless merging of cellular and Wi-Fi. To meet this growing demand for bandwidth, expect to see more interaction between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi is better positioned to handle user bandwidth demands, but cellular service offers better range. So carriers are working on seamlessly handing off mobile devices from one type of connection to another so it will be even easier to start watching a YouTube (News - Alert) video on Wi-Fi and continue it over the cellular network.
3. Mobile VoIP. IP-based calling is eating the lunch of landline phones, and now it is starting to come to mobile phones as well. The advantage of being able to use VoIP over mobile phones is that it both saves on costly cellular voice minutes, and also that it is easier to have a phone number and address book follow the user from home to the road to the office. With mobile VoIP, users can always call with the same phone system no matter where they are.
4. Serious security. Right now most users carry a mobile computer in their pocket without also having the necessary virus and security software in place that they have on their desktops. But this will change as users and the industry as a whole wakes up to the vulnerability of mobile computing to hacking, malware and cyber crime theft.
5. Machine-to-machine interaction. First humans were given mobile communications, but now the machines also are getting it. Known as M2M, this Internet of things is now giving refrigerators, sensors and all manner of machines mobile Internet access so both humans and their tools can interact with each other no matter where they are. This will shake up the mobile industry in a big way.