Another year has come and gone with more mobile advances than ever before. What’s in store for the year ahead? Our mobile staff looks a five trends that are likely to affect hardware, software and services in the fast growing mobile space.
We now know more details of the FCC’s spectrum sharing plan. It will set aside 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band and establish priority tiers for federal and local government use. Carriers have to be content with the frequencies left over.
M2M is huge, and power everything from point-of-sale machines and ER devices to much of the Big Data revolution. But all that is in danger, says John Horn of RACO Wireless, if we don’t patch two major holes.
What happens when infrastructure startups disappear? Innovation doesn’t stop, but the industry definitely loses a critical font of ideas that challenge the big vendor mentality and established standards. Services innovation is already outpacing network innovation — the problem is only going to get worse.
According to new reports, Clearwire isn’t part of Softbank’s US plans. Clearwire and Softbank have a lot in common when comes to 4G technology, but that doesn’t mean there’s room for the struggling mobile broadband operator in Sprint and Softbank’s marriage.
Apple’s wholesale support for LTE across its devices means that 4G network deployment can really get rolling. As these new networks go online, carriers will be forced to start lowering the price of mobile data. It won’t happen immediately, but it will happen.
Britain’s severely delayed 4G auction came a step closer with confirmation that the bidding for mobile spectrum will finally open up. But with regulators suggesting it won’t happen until early next year, UK consumers won’t see any real LTE service until well into 2013.
In terms of mobile data, our smartphones are far more reliant on Wi-Fi. So why are carriers so single-mindedly focused on acquiring new licensed spectrum and building expensive 3G and 4G networks, when they could implement more Wi-Fi and tap into other sources of unlicensed spectrum?
A wireless network comprised of 50,000 free hotspots will appear in the coming months, but there’s a small catch: To use the free Wi-Fi service, you’ll need to be a subscriber to one of five cable television providers. The Wi-Fi roaming revolution is finally here.
Under pressure because the new iPad’s 4G connectivity does not work outside North America, the company has started dropping its claims in some international markets — like the UK and Australia — but not in others.