2016 promises to be a fascinating year in mobile, as the industry layers on more complex features onto the most important device in our lives. Here are six things we think will make a big impact this year:
1) Internet of Things
The IoT has arrived and the applications it enables will be 2016’s most influential trend. With the potential to connect over 20bn new objects by 2020, MNOs now fully appreciate the unprecedented business model revolution facing them, which has in turn opened up big opportunities to be seized.
The key IoT sector for 2016 will remain wearables, thanks to the recent explosion in consumer adoption. 2015 saw waves of product releases, following the Apple Watch. MNOs have a significant role to play as consumers want to use their smartwatch independently of their smartphones, something the Samsung Gear S2 allows.
Automotive will also continue to be one the main drivers of the IoT. We won’t see driverless cars on our roads outside of trials, but do expect more security and entertainment connected features, as well as convenient touches such as unlocking and starting a car using your mobile.
Smart homes, buildings, and cities will also benefit from the development of IoT infrastructure. And a beneficial off-shoot of this will come with environment sustainability. The IoT will reduce energy wastage by taking control and monitoring our consumption, and help make buildings more autonomous with regard to water collection and energy generation.
With the IoT taking off, efforts will have to be taken to secure the connectivity and data. New use cases are bringing new threats, and for customer adoption, it is crucial trust is ensured.
2) Presages of 5G
2016 will likely reveal the main aspects of the next generation of connectivity. We expect the next FIFA World Cup in Russia to herald the first trial, with commercial deployment effective in 2020. But we do now know that 5G is not going to be a simple upgrade of the 4G network densification and capacity. It is also expected that a large focus of 5G will be dedicated to supporting IoT infrastructure development.
3) The Customer Experience Management hype
In the ever more competitive mobile sector, MNOs have developed a wide range of value added services to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. In 2016, MNOs will focus on providing best-in class quality of experience to each consumer, with a strong focus on personalization.
The quality of network service is still core for MNOs to ensure customer retention. To bolster this, we will also see improved customer care based on the real-time end-user experience.
Mobile payment, cloud services, mobile protection and even universal digital ID with the Mobile Connect initiative will also enrich the experience this year.
4) Cloud will reach the moon
While operators now offer great Cloud services to consumers, there’s still a lot of space to fill for enterprise. As Cloud computing continues to grow quickly, MNOs have a great role to play as more flexible and secure solutions are being frequently rolled-out.
While large enterprises are allocating significant budgets to Cloud solutions, the main growth will come from small and medium sized businesses, with tailored offers to each need.
We expect Cloud computing will become mainstream for most companies worldwide, as it is probably the best solution for data storage and sharing, in terms of its flexibility and cost effectiveness.
However, to fully capitalize on the strategic potential of the cloud, companies need to know their data is secure, wherever it resides. It’s only by addressing Cloud security challenges such as data control, accessibility, and visibility, that MNOs will open the Cloud to new markets.
5) Surfing the ‘Sharing Economy’
Rapid smartphone adoption has accelerated and enabled the sharing economy. The new ideas and services offered suit the instantaneous nature of our hyper-connected society.
The sharing economy more mobile than ever this year with the ongoing development of networks and devices enabling new use cases for apps, location based technology, NFC, and social networks.
Similar to Twitter and Facebook on as instant news feeds, we can expect to see more breaking innovations this year enabled by mobile devices.
6) Roaming regulations
In 2017, roaming charges will be abolished within the European Union, resulting in a significant growth in roaming data traffic. Operators will have to adapt a new business model and perform benchmarking to create partnerships and alliances across Europe. This will be a significant milestone on the march of the mobile revolution, where people can enjoy uncompromised service through their mobile everywhere they are, at the same price.
Do you agree with our predicted trends for 2016? Or are there some key areas you would’ve included? Let us know by tweeting to us @Gemalto, or leave a comment in the section below.