Dean Bubley’s 2013 Telecom Industry Anti-Forecasts

My 2013 Telecom Industry Anti-Forecasts

So without further ado, these are Disruptive Analysis’ Top 10 Telecoms Anti-Forecasts for the coming year…

1) RCSe / RCS5 / Joyn won’t gain meaningful user traction

2) NFC payments will continue to struggle.

3) Broad adoption of VoLTE won’t occur in 2013

4) WebRTC won’t take over the world in 2013

5) Nokia won’t be acquired

6) LTE won’t replace fixed broadband.

7) OTT traffic on broadband won’t be “monetised”

8) Handset purchase patterns won’t change that much

9) WiFi won’t be “seamless” or tightly coupled to mobile network cores

10) No operator will make a bold acquisition of a major Internet player


A couple of other, shorter, extra anti-forecasts for 2013:

– Cellular M2M connections will start to lose out to WiFi, Zigbee, private radio and others for connections to devices that don’t actually move about
– LTE roaming will be widely ignored because of bill-shock risk, spectrum mismatch in devices and issues around supporting voice
– Nobody normal will be using mobile phones to unlock doors of homes, cars or hotels instead of keys or cards
– Mobile video-calling/sharing will remain almost irrelevant, and generate way more PR puff than it deserves. Some other embedded-video apps might make more sense, though.
– Augmented Reality is mostly touted by people with a limited grip on non-augmented reality. It won’t be meaningfully important in 2013, if ever.
– Everyone will hate the new venue for MWC13. I’m not going – if I fancied a week on an industrial park next to IKEA, I’d go to Neasden as it’s closer.
The Internet will happily go about its merry monoservice business, despite the apocalyptic predictions of my colleague Martin Geddes. I won’t be waking from nightmares shouting “Non-stationarity!!!
– Outside of the Galaxe Note-style “phablet”, few tablets will have 3G/4G modems embedded, and even fewer will have them regularly used
– We won’t see much change in Internet Governance, despite lots of noise and thunder from those mostly-thwarted at the ITU WCIT conference
– White-space technology won’t evolve as far, as fast or as disruptively as many people hope
– We probably won’t see Software-Defined Networking (SDN) proceed as fast as many hope, but that’s an area for me to research a bit more fully before nailing down that conclusion

Have a Happy New Year. Be Disruptive…..



Responding to Martin Geddes

There are lots of social values created by internet use that aren’t adequately “paid for” by individual internet subscribers, and aren’t appropriately appropriated by network owners.  Innovation is one of those positive spillovers that we don’t want to allow a single property owner to own forever, because the second innovator might do a better job with the idea.  Same thing online — the network owners shouldn’t necessarily be allowed to internalize all of these externalities, because we can’t assume that optimal social values will be the result.  Rewarding a single innovator isn’t always the best thing to do.

This was a poor excerpt to illustrate the title, it’s just such a good point I wanted to bring it out.  Benefits that don’t accrue to the operator, essential, the more the merrier.  Relates to monopoly generally, telco, copyright, patent et al.  A point that those dismissing Metcalfe’s Law overlooked, no the n^2 factor does not accrue to the operator, leaving value on the table makes renting seats at the table easier.

More selected Martin Geddes