Looking forward to 2009

January each year is when analysts and amateur prophets get busy forecasting what the year ahead will bring. With the current economic crisis already biting hard on the wireless industry, trying to predict what will happen in 2009 is an even more difficult task than normal. Telecom advisory company inCode has a pretty good track record in foretelling the future and they have just released their predictions for the forthcoming year.

To nobody's surprise inCode's top prediction is that there will losses amongst the ranks of operators and vendors. Their picks for the most vulnerable are Sprint and T-Mobile on the operator side and Motorola, Alcatel Lucent and Nortel amongst the vendors.

inCode gives the thumbs-up to HSPA, which it says will ‘quietly and methodically' come to dominate the market. The HSPA experience, says inCode, will be good enough to compete with WiMAX and will provide better geographic coverage over the next couple of years. Running slightly against the tide, inCode sees the earlier-than-expected introduction of LTE, pushed mainly by US CDMA operators seeking a weapon to fight off HSPA+.

Network outsourcing will be very much at the forefront of operator's minds in 2009 driven by the need to cut capital and operational expenditures. inCode predicts that during the year at least one Tier I or Tier II operator will outsource all its labour-intensive, network-related activities. Likely winners in the outsourcing space are IBM and Ericsson.

inCode also predicts growing demand for femtocells in 2009 leading to a massive upturn in adoption in 2010. The initial drivers will be dissatisfaction with in-building coverage but as data usage climbs operators will be looking to offload the traffic on to more economical wireline broadband.

inCode concludes its forecast for the year with a bonus prediction that ‘green will be the new black' as more and more telecom companies adopt green technologies and reusable energy sources.

For more:
- go to 3g.co.uk and Telecomredux