Aftermath: Telecom trends 2014

In the begining of this year I wrote posting Telecom trends for 2014 that includes my expectations for this year. As year 2014 ends quite soon, it is a good idea to look back how well those estimations went. I use italics for material from the original Telecom trends for 2014 posting.

Mobile infrastructure must catch up with user needs and demands. Ubiquitous mobile computing is all around us.

Yes. We are finally in the mobile computing era.

Some time in the next six months, the number of smartphones on earth will pass the number of PCs.

This has hapened. Since 2011 more smartphones are sold than PCs, so it was jut matter of time that it happened. The world’s largest PC maker, Lenovo, now sells more smartphones than PCs.

Almost half a billion (497 million) mobile devices and connections were added in 2014 (smartphones accounted for 88 percent of that growth). Global mobile devices and connections in 2014 grew to 7.4 billion.

People also spend more time with their smart phones. Nielsen: More Time On Internet Through Smartphones Than PCs article says that that US adults spent on average 34 hours per month using the mobile internet on smartphones and they spend 27 hours on the PC internet.

As the power and capability of many mobile devices increases, the increased demand on networks. We watch more videos, and listen to music on our phones. More and more network bandwidth is being used by video

Global mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014. Global mobile data traffic reached 2.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2014, up from 1.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2013. Last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly 30 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of 2012 and grew to 55 percent by the end of 2014. Cloud service traffic increased a lot: Because many Internet video applications can be categorized as cloud applications, mobile cloud traffic follows a curve similar to video.

Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2014 expects that Software Defined Anything is a new mega-trend in data centers. Software-defined anything (SDx) is defined by “improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning.” Dominant vendors in a given sector of an infrastructure-type may elect not to follow standards that increase competition and lower margins, but end-customer will benefit from simplicity, cost reduction opportunities, and the possibility for consolidation. More hype around Software-Defined-Everything will keep the marketeers and the marchitecture specialists well employed for the next twelve months but don’t expect anything radical.

Software defined was hot.

Software defined technologies are coming quickly to telecom operator networks with Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). Intel and rather a lot of telcos want networks to operate like data centres.

Yes. The future mobile network will have more and more x86 and ARM based generic computing boxes running on Linux. 2014 has been a year of SDN and NFV partnerships, whether it’s between hardware vendors (like Ericsson and Ciena), hardware/software (such as this arrangement), or pairings of software vendors (Alcatel-Lucent spinoff Nuage with Oracle). All players try to offer their customers “a unified, flexible and production-ready” solution to support their network function virtualisation (NFV) efforts.

Telecom companies and cloud service providers are selling together service packages that have both connectivity and cloud storage sold as single service. Gartner suggests that bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is essential.

A telecom cloud provider is a telecommunications company that has shifted a significant part of its business from landline service to devote resources to providing cloud services. Many telecom companies tried to push to this direction when looking for new profitable business opportunities. The shift to cloud services allows the telecom to repurpose underutilized networking resources and take advantage of existing business relationships. How this has developed varies pretty much from company to company.

Mobile cloud convergence will lead to an explosion of new services. Mobile and cloud computing are converging to create a new platform — one that has the potential to provide unlimited computing resources.

Lots of start-up activiy and big players in this field. Mobile and cloud service combination really took off at 2014. The future is for cloud+mobile.

The type of device one has will be less important, as the personal or public cloud takes over some of the role. The push for more personal cloud technologies will lead to a shift toward services and away from devices, but there are also cases where where there is a great incentive to exploit the intelligence and storage of the client device.

“Internet of Things” gets more push. The Internet is expanding into enterprise assets and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The concept of “Internet of Things” will evolve a step toward The Internet of Everything. Gartner identifies four basic usage models that are emerging: Manage, Monetize, Operate, Extend. The Internet of Things (IoT) will evolve into the Web of Things, increasing the coordination between things in the real world and their counterparts on the Web. The Industrial Internet of Things will be talked about. IoT takes advantage of mobile devices’ and sensors’ ability to observe and monitor their environments

It’s undeniable: 2014 was the year when the electronics industry decidedly and collectively moved forward to push the Internet of Things (IoT). Year 2014 took IoT term to mainstream media.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing the connectedness of people and things on a scale that once was unimaginable. Connected devices outnumber the world’s population by 1.5 to 1. The pace of IoT market adoption is accelerating. Many companies tried to get slice of that business opportunity. For evidence, look no further than the myriad mergers and acquisitions among chip vendors, system companies, and software vendors this year — many in the IoT space. Beyond the usual reasons for consolidation (economy of scale, eliminating competition, expanding revenue), many companies scrambled to make deals specifically to get IoT technologies and products that were missing from their portfolios. Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs in January 2014 started the year, Samsung’s picking up SmartThings, Facebook buying Oculus (VR company), and Intel acquiring Basis Science (smartwatch startup). Those tied the common threads of IoT and wearables together. And many other chip vendors and sensor algorithm companies also jumped on the IoT bandwagon. Sensors, MCUs, and wireless connectivity are three obvious building blocks for IoT end-node devices, and security is also becoming important.

Internet of Things deployment in the enterprise has increased 333% since 2012. Nearly 65% of its survey respondents have deployed IoT technologies in the enterprise in 2014, compared to only 15% in 2012.  At the same time 36% of IT managers and CIOs were still unfamiliar with the term “Internet of Things.

Car of the future is M2M-ready and has Ethernet. Many manufacturers taking an additional step to develop vehicle connectivity. One such example is the European Commission’s emergency eCall system, which is on target for installation in every new car by 2015.

Connected car concept  really took off:Increasingly, Connected Cars (and especially electric cars) are taking advantage of the rise of smartphones, and apps are available to interact with the car from any distance: Users can unlock their cars, check the status of batteries on electric cars, find the location of the car, or remotely activate the climate control system.

On January 6, 2014, Google announced the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA includes Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia. Android Auto was announced on June 25, 2014.

Smart Home Systems Are on the Rise article tells that most automated technology is found in commercial buildings that feature automated lighting that changes in intensity depending on the amount of sunlight present. Some of these buildings have WiFi incorporated into their lighting systems. There will be new and affordable technology on the market, but people today are still reluctant to bring automation to their homes.

Think home automation is just for the über geeky? It’s going seriously mainstream. CES 2014 was full of smart home and IoT. Google made a big investment in smart home, spending $3.2 billion dollars to buy Nest Labs, the company behind some of the highest profile home automation/IoT products now available. At CES, meanwhile, Samsung announced its Smart Home initiative, which will give you control over TVs and appliances from your Galaxy smartphone. Hubs that control everything around the house, which you access via your always-present phone or tablet, are readily available for the tech-savvy homeowner.


Other things from 2014:

The world’s online population has edged over more than 3 billion people, according to the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU), with internet usage globally growing at 6.6 percent in 2014.The number of internet users in developing countries has doubled in the five years from 2009 to 2014, with two-thirds of all people online now living in the developing world. The ITU found that there are still more than 4.3 billion people not yet online, 90 percent of which live in developing countries.

By the end of 2014, fixed broadband subscriptions outnumber traditional circuit-switched fixed lines for the first time.

Net neutrality and open internet discussion really started in 2014. The Global Net Neutrality Coalition defines the term thus: “Net neutrality requires that the internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination.” Net neutrality is most recognised as a hot button topic in the US, but the issue is relevant around the world. The European Union came out squarely in favour of preserving an open internet.

Industry interest in faster enterprise Ethernet on twisted pair cables is driving a new standardisation efforts in 2014. The emergence of groups like the NBase-T Alliance in late October, it’s clear that enterprises are going to need higher performance out of their wired Ethernet networks over exiting cabling (2.5/5 Gbps track). The driver for this is 802.11ac saft wireless standard. Attention is being paid to the development of 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GbE) and next-generation Ethernet access networks. Hot technologies for near future will be 10GBASE-T, 25GbE, and 40/100G for data centers.

European telecom companies were not doing great in 2014. The rate of decline is expected to slow with 2014 (I don’t have data to back up if this happened). According to a new report commissioned by industry body ETNO, the sector should return to growth in 2016. EU is lagging behind the US in terms of investment.




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