2010 predictions - John Strand, Strand Consult

2010 predictions - John Strand, Strand     Consult
Very few operators have been affected by the financial crisis. In reality, many are taking advantage of the crisis to implement cutbacks that improve their financial results despite the recession. We believe that an increasing number of MNO's will also focus on reducing their costs in 2010 - their strategy will be to postpone CAPEX and reduce OPEX.

We believe that the UK market will experience a market consolidation that can go in two directions. The first is the traditional consolidation, with one operator taking over another and merging them together, as in the proposed Orange/T-Mobile merger. The other type of consolidation is an infrastructure consolidation, where operators build wholly or partially shared networks, as O2 and Vodafone have done.

We believe the UK will be the MVNO market that attracts the most attention during 2010. The consolidation between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK will result in Vodafone, O2 and 3 focusing on the MVNO market to retain and gain market shares. The British market will be tough in 2010. We believe that the most successful UK MVNOs will be the large retailers, online-based discount market players focusing on Sim-only products and ethnical MVNOs.

2010 will be the year in which operators finally realise that their business is not selling handsets at under cost price, but instead it is selling traffic on their networks. We believe many operators will focus on reducing their SAC during 2010. We will therefore see good offers for the stable customers, medium offers for so-so customers and no offers for poor customers.

This year, we will see a large growth in the smartphone area. Growth will not be driven by customer demand for smartphones, but by the fact that an increasing number of market players will replace traditional operating systems with smartphone operating systems.

We think that Apple will announce new mobile products. Its iPhone is now two years old and has reached an age where it will take more than just a facelift to retain the current sales levels.

We believe that Nokia's new UI for the Series 60 will be a positive surprise and we believe that Nokia will launch mobile phones that combine traditional design with touch-screens. The question is not whether ordinary mobile phones will have touch-screens, but how large a share they will hold in 2010?

2010 will be the year where the Android will receive a great deal of attention. There is no doubt that HTC has launched some very cool Android products, but the market has developed slower than the market expected.

Looking at NFC, we think it will start slowly in 2010 but gain momentum in Q3 and Q4. We believe we'll see many new NFC pilots in 2010, and an increasing number of mobile phones with built-in NFC in 2011 and 2012.

The UK broadband market will be bloody. All the operators have underinvested in their networks and will most probably continue to do so through 2010. In fact, a number of operators will have network capacity problems during 2010, especially within the mobile broadband area, which will experience difficulty in delivering the services they are marketing to their customers. Because of network underinvestment, sales of mobile broadband will be slower and can thereby help extend the lifetime of the DSL market.
Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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