Aftermath: Telecom 2012

I wrote in the beginning of the year 2012 a blog article Telecom trends for 2012 that tried to predict trends for year 2012. Now when year 2013 has started here is my aftermath how well my article predicted last year. So here are my comments on how well the predictions went. I use symbol + if prediction was was right, – if it was wrong, +- if partially right, ? if I don’t know the answer. Here are most important predictions and how they went:

The global telecommunications services market will grow at a 4% rate in 2012

+ Mobile growth continued strong. Telecom Growth Rate Still Outpacing GDP Growth: Globally, mobile service revenue is the main growth engine in the overall telecom/datacom market, up 4.3% year-over-year in the first half of 2012

Mobile growth does not stop. The number of global mobile subscriptions will pass the 6 billion mark.

+ Cell phones hit six billion worldwide as predicted.

There is lots of competition on mobile OS marker, but I expect that thing continue pretty much as 2011 ended: Android continues to boom, RIM and Microsoft decline. Symbian’s future is uncertain

+ I got got pretty much right.

Cars and smartphones start to communicate

+ Cars are quickly developing becoming more and more mobile communications devices and they communicate with smartphones.

Mobile campaigns to be hot in 2012 presidential race article tells that though mobile advertising not seen much on the campaign trail, mobile strategy is expected to be important for attracting younger voters.

+ 2012 Presidential election was driving mobile marketing innovation. Campaigns debut mobile apps.

Text messaging has been very profitable business for mobile phone operators and making them lots of money. Text Messaging Is in Decline in Some Countries

+ SMS erosion has started even in USA

EU politicians want to ban roaming charges according to Computer Sweden magazine article. If the proposal becomes law in the EU, it takes away slippery roaming charges for mobile data (could happen earliest at summer 2012, but I expect that it will take much more time).

+ The European Commission (EC) has passed several regulations relating to mobile roaming. In March 2012, a compromise was agreed between the EU Commission, Parliamnent and Council, with lower retail ceilings than originally proposed by the Commission.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is becoming available in many mobile phones

There is still years to wait until mass market on NFC wallets starts.

+ NFC is still waiting for mass market, something started

WiMax will see the beginning of its end in Asia.

+ LTE has won the game

The number of active (installed) PCs worldwide will pass the 2 billion mark.

?? I could not find any enough up to date statistics to verify if this happened or not.


Source: Business Insider

Broadband penetration continues to increase. Broadband penetration of the world’s population will pass the 10% mark globally.

+ Broadband penetration continued to increase. Global broadband penetration passes one-third of all homes. For more details read State of broadband 2012 report. Increasing penetration of connected devices, applications, and services over broadband access is continuing to drive the adoption of high-speed broadband services.

IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) penetration of the world’s population will pass the 1% mark.

+ More than 3.8 million people subscribed to IPTV in the first quarter of 2012, pushing the international subscriber base over 65.5 million, according to statistics released by the Broadband Forum. IPTV penetration of telcos’ worldwide broadband subscribers reached 15 percent in Q1 2012, equivalent to 67 million subscribers and 8 percent of the world’s 812 million pay-TV subscribers. Verizon and AT&T, have succeeded in selling IPTV service to almost 40 percent of their broadband subscriber base.

Source: TeleGeography

Source: TeleGeography

Today’s Cable Guy, Upgraded and Better-Dressed article tells that the cable guy is becoming sleeker and more sophisticated, just like the televisions and computers he installs. The nearly saturated marketplace means growth for cable companies must come from all the extras

? Did the growth for cable TV companies start to come from those sources? There are also other competitors, including high tech retailers and telecom companies on the field. For example Amazon also start selling installation services.

Ethernet displaces proprietary field buses. As Ethernet displaces proprietary field buses to facilitate the operation of the digital factory.

+ Ethernet displaces proprietary field buses more and more.

Operators’ growth will increasingly depend on their having a cloud computing strategy, an approach for the high-growth IT service market and a clear value proposition for the enterprise market.

+-? Cloud service providers talk would like for the operators to have a cloud computing strategy where they would resell different cloud services. Some operators are actively selling could services to business and consumers, so not so actively. It seems that the operators’ growth at the moment seems to be more on mobile services than cloud computing. But thing can change in the future when mobile penetration increases to point that growth is not that big in there anymore.

Data center technologies will be hot topic. 10GBase-T Technology will become technically and economically feasible interface option on data center servers.

+ 10GBase-T Technology has become feasible for data centers.

40/100 Gbit/s Ethernet will be a hot topic

+ 40/100 Gbit/s Ethernet is a hot topic.

No IPv6 Doomsday In 2012. Yes, IPv4 addresses are running out, but a Y2K-style disaster/frenzy won’t be coming in 2012.

+ There was not IPv6 Doomsday and life has been going on after IPv4 addresses run out in many places.

Operators start to pay more attention to the business opportunity of “M2M” (machine-to-machine connections). Investment and innovation in M2M (think smart energy meters and fleet trackers for logistics) will follow.

+ M2M has become a hot topic. Expect a lot to happen in 2013.

Smart Grid technologies include smart power management and architecture system components are already hot. Smart meter deployment on the rise globally.

+ Smart meter deployments continue to rise. At the end of 2011, more than 33 million U.S. customers had smart meters. In 2012 progress has continued. 100 Million Meters Coming to Europe by 2016 article says that Smart grid projects are moving swiftly across Europe to meet the mandate that 80 percent of European households have meters by 2020.

You Will See A Ton Of Hype Around “The Internet Of Things”

+- There were talk about “The Internet Of Things”. But I would have expected to see more of it.

Security issues were talked about lot on 2011 and I expect the discussion will continue actively during year 2012. There are still many existing security issues to fix and new issues will come up all the time.

+ Security trends were talked a lot in 2012 and discussion on them continues active on 2013.

If you want to read my predictions related to telecom field for 2013, ready my new postings:
Telecom and networking trends 2013
Mobile trends and predictions for 2013
Security trends for 2013


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Report finds 10G transceiver sales outpacing 40/100G

    As reported at’s sister site, Lightwave, this year hasn’t been so bad for optical transceiver sales, earnings statements be damned, asserts the fiber-optic communications industry analysis firm LightCounting in a new report.

    By the end of 2012, sales of 40/100G optical transceivers will have doubled, claims the firm. However, the analysis finds that 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules have represented the lion’s share of the market in 2012, accounting for more than 50% of sales. LightCounting says that 100 Gigabit Ethernet sales could exceed those of 10 Gigabit Ethernet devices by 2017 – provided transceiver developers succeed in creating and offering modules with smaller form factors and lower power consumption.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple & Samsung capture 103% of handset profits as rivals lose money

    Together, Apple and Samsung accounted for 103 percent of mobile phone profits in 2012, a number made possible because of losses incurred by rivals Motorola, Sony and Nokia.

    Apple took a commanding 69 percent of handset profits last year, more than doubling the next closest company, Samsung, which accounted for 34 percent. Together, that gave the two companies more than 100 percent of the industry’s profits, according to research released on Wednesday by Canaccord Genuity.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Phone sales dropped – the first time since 2009

    Sales of mobile phones has taken a downturn, says market research firm Gartner in recent statistics.

    In 2012, mobile phones were sold to end-users, a total of 1.75 billion units. The drop in 2011 was 1.7 per cent.

    While smartphone sales continued its growth path and rose in the last quarter of a record 207.7 million units the device. Growth in the previous year was 38.3 per cent.

    Basic phones sales continued to slow. During the fourth quarter were sold 264.4 basic units, representing 19.3 per cent drop in the previous year.

    The last time the global mobile phone market dipped in 2009. This year, the decline in sales was driven by the difficult economic situation, with varying consumer preferences and intense competition, Gartner suspects.

    “At the moment, none of the manufacturer is not clear number three global smartphone business,”



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