1/4/2010 10:56:00 AM
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
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