The Next Wave

February 24, 2015 Tim Sherwood - Vice President, Mobile Market Development and Strategy

The Next Wave of Mobile Innovation

by Tim Sherwood – Vice President, Mobile Market Development and Strategy


I really believe the mobile industry is reaching an inflection point where both growth and opportunity will accelerate. In my last post, I looked at how far the industry has come. I’ll now share my own views on what the future of mobile might look like.

Predicting the future in this market is never easy but we’re reaching an intersection of demand and accessibility that will spur a new wave of innovation.

More people have smartphones than ever but, according to Cisco Systems, smartphones still only represent 29% of total global handsets in use. Growth in smartphone adoption will create demand for more mobile content, applications and services. That’s good news for the whole mobile ecosystem.

While form factors and features in these devices will change over time, I believe it is in the cloud and relationships within the industry where we will see a real evolution. I see quality of service being the gateway to a whole new world of mobile.

The lack of a common baseline quality of service (QoS) today limits what we can do with mobile communications but that is going to change. When QoS is consistent around the world, we’ll see mobile innovation truly go global.

In the future, mobile network operators (MNOs) will deliver seamless service performance and availability wherever the user’s location and this will free subscribers to use mobile services abroad in the same way they do at home. That is no small thing. It means that mobile services can move from being a largely local technology to being accessible on a global scale.

The knock-on effect of that is the creation of truly global mobile services and a market where MNOs, over-the-top players (OTTs), content and application providers and enterprises can deliver global services quickly and reliably. That means new innovations can come from anywhere and reshape the market rapidly.

For Enterprise communications, MNOs will compete on a global scale with dependable QoS underpinning new services and corporate applications. This will refocus their business on innovation rather than protecting revenues and will mean better services for enterprises and better enterprise communications overall.

New business models will emerge focused on giving users access to content, applications and services wherever they are and will be driven by brands looking to engage with customers via mobile. Brands can support and sponsor access to their services or content and deepen their relationship with customers as mobile proves to be the most personal way to connect and communicate.

The Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications (M2M) will cross borders and go from solving local challenges to global ones. Things like connected
cars will have applications and services developed without limits on their reach or worries about network performance. Going beyond ‘Best Effort’ will transform what a connected car can do for a consumer.

Innovation in devices or applications can only change the mobile experience of those that have access to them. When the innovation is easily and affordably accessed via the cloud, it changes the game for everyone across the mobile ecosystem

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