Telecom trends usually come in three forms.
There are those thought up by telcos that are a success, like broadband and mobile broadband.
There are those that the industry hasn't been able to make work, like MMS, video telephony, mobile TV and m-commerce.
And there are those big hits that have come from elsewhere - like the iPhone and app store, Skype, Web 2.0 and the internet itself.
Perhaps, finally, after 25 years of competition, this might be the decade when telecom operators show they can create their own future.
They will have little choice. Voice will become as insignificant financially as it is today as a share of network traffic. Carriers will have to fight for their survival. The decisions they make today about next-gen networks, telco 2.0, and business directions like app stores and mobile money, will be felt across the decade.
In this issue we have invited experts from across the industry to join the Telecom Asia team in painting the picture of the next ten years.
They point to M2M, LTE, all-fiber nets, smart enablers, the irrelevance of current mobile metrics, the end of pay-TV and an exploding universe of mobile apps, to name a few.
If there's an underlying theme it is that the hardest decisions will not be about technologies, but the business models to monetize them.
2020 at a glance
- Telco of one
- 20 billion connected devices
- Augmented reality
- End-to-end fiber
- Smart enablers
- Content conflicts
- Dumb pipes rule OK
- RIP ARPU and MOU
- RIP pay-TV
- LTE thrives, Wimax survives
- Rethink in approach to generating revenue
- The coming application store shakedown
- Only scratched the surface
- Low-cost 4G everywhere
- Big pipe – bigger apps