By any measurement, 2008 has been a year of unrivalled change and upheaval. But this turmoil should not mask the real progress made worldwide by the cellular industry as services being offered to business and consumers continue to expand and flourish.
Notable among the achievements in 2008 was the wide scale uptake of mobile data, helped significantly by the aggressive marketing of 3G dongles, Netbooks and a new breed of smartphones as seen from RIM, Apple and others.
The involvement of the EU in attempting to regulate the market--perceived by some as gross interference, has driven down the price of many widely used services. Whether this enforced change will impact the ability of mobile operators to make investments for the future has yet to be seen.
But this industry, albeit that cellphones are now accepted as a utility and not a luxury item, will feel the brunt of this worldwide economic downturn. Forecasting what might happen next year and into 2010 is more difficult than ever before--but FierceWirelessEurope will do its best to make some predictions for the future when we resume publication on Monday, 5th January 2009.--Paul