The future of wireless (Part 1): Evolution of Mobile Devices and Services
For those with discretion, wireless and mobile are easily the most different of things, mobile merely being the subset of wireless and wireless meaning many things more than just the mobile. This latest series of blogs will examine different aspects of convergence from a 10 year future perspective. For sake of simplicity, I will address each perspective differently. Mixing them up will be quite complicating and lengthy…
In this post, I would be discussing mobile devices and mobile networks and limited aspects of mobility, content from a future perspective:
1. Mobile phones without SIMs and no network allegiance: What would it take for Apple, Google, Skype, Amazon to offer mobile phones that run on mashed up networks of WiFi/WiMAX, LTE/4G and thus offering free voice calls. That could be the death knell for operators and Google with its “Dark fibre” rumours is one trail blazer here.
2. Cellular voice will die (or in any case, there will be no money in voice). Landlines will be extinct and as networks transgress from 3G to IP network infrastructures of 4G, the cost of data as a revenue stream would have diminishing and negative returns on marginalities. VoIP would have taken over as the substitute for cellular voice.
3. Mobile phones would be made available free to all and even a smartphone would be available for a $10 price. Phone makers would make monies through revenue share agreements of services enabled on the phone or from transactions that are done from their devices. We will surely discuss the mobile wallet aspect in the future of wireless series sometime later.
4. Data would be free. There would be a mesh of networks enabled by WiFi, WiMAX, LTE, 4G each provided to the consumer/user free or for a very nominal charge. The smartphone would obviously be the primary data device, but then there would be tablets, MIDs, ebooks and others.
5. Consumers will be paid for data consumption. Forget the debate of people not wanting to pay for digital content; users, will be paid for digital content. Operators, Eco-system partners, content makers, aggregators will earn not from the consumer using their services, but because a sponsor is using their services to reach out to the consumer in a manner relevant, custom built and engaging to the user. That is slightly difficult to imagine, but the current TV, Radio and Magazine industries use this model to push sponsored ads and content to users….
6. … Mobiles will thus become the largest marketing channel offering best results to sponsors in terms of relevance, profile, segmentation and targeting of users in the history of marketing.
7. Content bundles will be available in mobile service contracts starting with music, books, TV, News, Magazines, Internet Sites, Film and more. Owing to high degree of relevance to the user’s tastes and choices, there would be a high degree of engagement built into this bundles which will them find suitable other means of monetization.
8. Physical constraints, such as keyboard dimensions, screen size will cease to be the primary limiting factors in device design as new input and display technologies would squeeze more within the limited “real estate” of the mobile device.
9. Sensors on mobile phones will start picking up “ambient data” from temperature, lighting, noise, and even moods of its users and will customize the device and its service offerings in accordance.
10. Mobile devices will go green not only in terms of components, radiations, use of alternate energy resources, but will also deliver on the most critical feature threshold: battery life at the same time.
There could be a few other computing and processing power related points and others in services such as LBS, Music and more which are worth mentioning here. But as discussed in my opening notes, i will deal with technology and services in greater depth in days to come and not as a part of mobile devices only.
(If you are reading this, Thanks for the read through and let me know if you find this post good or dirt. Suggestions and correspondence welcome)