1. European operators will launch new IP voice and messaging services based on the RCSe standard and which, they hope, will combat the threat to their business posed by services such as What’sApp, iMessage and Viber. The extent to which these launches are supported by a wide range of devices is absolutely crucial to the success of RCS.
2. M2M technology will go mainstream at this year’s Mobile World Congress with the leading global infrastructure vendors parading their newly-found expertise in service management platforms.
3. Spanning both smartphones and tablets, the OS ecosystem and verticalization are becoming ever-more important, so expect more from Microsoft at MWC12 following last year’s marketing invasion by Android’s “little green men”. We also expect to hear an update on operators’ own platform strategies and whether there is any progress to report on the WAC initiative initially launched two years ago.
4. Momentum is gathering in the connected health market with an ever-growing range of new medical applications and devices both from established and new players.
5. The connected car is coming of age and the Mobile World Congress could see contract announcements between car OEMs, operators and providers of in-car communications and entertainment systems.
6. Small cells rather than just LTE will emerge as the key battleground for network infrastructure vendor solutions. The adoption of carrier Wi-Fi will feature heavily.
7.The use of smartphones and tablets to connect to television sets will play a central role in the connected home of the future which will be a feature of handset vendors exhibition areas.
8. There will be no shortage of options for mobile operators shopping for solutions to manage the growth of data carried over their networks. Solutions will either: a) enable operators (or users) to better understand what traffic they are carrying; b) provide tools and techniques for managing the traffic; or c) support operators’ efforts to introduce new price plans for different services and applications.
9. Cloud technologies and services will dominate at this year’s event with the unveiling of new services for business and consumer markets.
10. Customer experience management will be everywhere at Barcelona this year as BSS/OSS generally emerges as a key theme in next-generation network, multiple-service environments.
Mark Newman is chief research officer of Informa Telecoms & Media’s research business. For more information, visit www.informatandm.com