Predictions for 2010 (and a recap of 2009)

Welcome to FierceBroadbandWireless' 2010 Predictions issue. The year ahead should be intensely interesting from a technology front. Two nascent technologies--LTE and mobile WiMAX--should see some significant momentum.

But before I expand on my predictions for 2010, I want to do a reality check for what I predicted would happen in 2009.

2009 Prediction No. 1: Clearwire shakes up broadband market. Not quite. The operator didn't gain any momentum until the second half of the year, and appeared to take a more conservative approach as it looked for additional funding. I expect, however, 2010 to be a big year for the operator. (See my 2010 predictions for more.)

2009 Prediction No. 2: White space gets real or not so real: I made sure I would be correct regardless of what happened in this area. What space didn't get so real in 2009. After the FCC gave its blessing to white space technology at the end of 2008, we heard very little from the lobbying heavyweights such as Google and Microsoft. Spectrum Bridge made some news in October with its white space network using an experimental license from the FCC.

2009 Prediction No. 3: LTE gets off the ground, barely: That was true. TeliaSonera handed out the first LTE contracts in January, followed by Verizon Wireless in February. Surprisingly, TeliaSonera announced a commercial launch, albeit in the limited areas of Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway. As of the time of this writing, Verizon Wireless has not delivered on its early promise of launching limited service in 2009. It will do so in earnest, however, in 2010.

2009 Prediction No. 4: President-elect Barack Obama's "New Deal" broadband initiative gets kicked around: This gained significantly more momentum than I expected. 2009 saw the process move along, with 2,200 applicants vying for the first round of the $7.2 billion set aside for companies willing to deploy broadband in unserved and underserved areas.

2009 Prediction No. 5: Femtocells finally hit the market: They did, but not in a big way. Too many questions surround how carriers should market the gadgets. How do operators convince consumers to buy the additional coverage options that consumers think operators should already be providing?

So it's a little hit and miss. Nonetheless, let's move on to this year's predictions.

Click here for FierceBroadbandWireless' 2010 Predictions

--Lynnette

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