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Observations from Mobile World Congress 2015

I have just returned from a very interesting and jammed-packed week at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. A record 93,000 plus people are estimated to have attended this year’s premier technology festival. Much has changed in the industry over the last year since I reported my observations of MWC 2014. However, what is most remarkable is how the boundaries of mobility continue to expand and morph – everything now seems to be mobile? As such, the show offers a fascinating glimpse into the future of technology and the major social and business shifts that we can expect in the next few years.

MWC_Barcelona

The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show Read More »

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Three Mobile Trends to Watch

Updated 2015 VNI Mobile Forecast Reveals Potential “Wildcards” for Mobile Devices, Networks and Services

This week, Cisco released its annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Forecast, 2014 – 2019. Among the traditional top-line growth projections that indicate a healthy mobile industry (e.g., more than 5.2 billion global mobile users by 2019 and 10-fold mobile traffic growth over the next five years), there were several interesting trends that could have significant implications for mobile networking in the near future.

Mobile Devices: Laptops make a comeback and phablets start to emerge

While there is an overall growth in the number of mobile devices and connections, there is also a visible shift in the device mix. This year forecast shows a slight slowdown in the growth of tablets as a new device sub-category, phablets (included in our smartphone category), were began to show global adoption. Tablet growth was also affected by the introduction of lightweight laptops, which are quite similar to tablets in form factor but have more enhanced capabilities. Today, tablets are primarily being used as content consumption devices – ideally suited for video viewing in particular. Laptops are still serving as the dominant content creation device, particularly for business users (e.g., presentation, spreadsheet, and document development). While the absolute numbers or volume for smartphones (4.6 billion by 2019), tablets (nearly 300 million by 2019) and laptops (nearly 250 million by 2019) are growing, they are all losing their percentage share of total mobile devices and connections to the fastest growing mobile connection type – M2M (3.2 billion by 2019).

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Mobile Networks: Low Power, Wide-Area (LPWA) networks may be optimal for campus-wide IoE applications

This year’s forecast includes M2M nodes connected via Low-Power, Wide-Area (LPWA) networks. These networks are Read More »

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Observations from Mobile World Congress 2014

I have just returned from a very interesting and jammed-packed week at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. More than 75,000 people were estimated to have attended this year’s MWC, and its fabulous new conference facilities proved a great place to celebrate the industry’s accomplishments and catch a glimpse of its potential future.  Much has changed in the industry over the last year since I reported my observations of MWC 2013.  However, what is most remarkable is how the boundaries of mobility continue to expand and morph – everything now seems to be mobile?

The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show, based on my conversations with operators, customer meetings, analysts, and colleagues, as well as from simply walking the show floor: Read More »

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Discover What Consumers Want from Wi-Fi and Mobile

Consumers have a true love of mobile devices, as evidenced by recent Cisco mobile consumer research.  Significant percentages of respondents reported using everything from laptops, smartphones, and tablets to eReaders and mobile gaming devices. Americans now own an average of three mobile devices each, up from 2.6 devices in the 2012 Cisco mobile consumer study.  Perhaps more significant, our findings show that the number of smartphone users has grown by 21 percent in just one year, now reaching 68 percent of the population, at the expense of basic phones. Most remarkable is that the number of tablet owners has expanded by over 90 percent in just one year, with close to four out of ten consumers possessing one of these new devices.

The insatiable demand for mobile devices and new applications that use large amounts of bandwidth is generating staggering volumes of mobile data. In parallel, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is exploding, as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers. Many service providers are now constructing extensive networks of public Wi-Fi hotspots for use by their mobile or home broadband customers. The networks allow mobile offload and help enhance and differentiate their offerings. In addition, service providers are struggling to understand new business models for making money from Wi-Fi.  However, very little is currently known about how consumers are actually using public Wi-Fi and how they view the overall experience. Nor is there much information about mobile users’ appetite for these new services, their willingness to use them, or their privacy or security concerns surrounding these data-based services.

To learn more, Cisco conducted a survey of 620 U.S. mobile users to understand their needs and behaviors, use of devices, applications and mobile access technologies, and how they have changed since our 2012 mobile consumer study.

Top 10 Research Findings Read More »

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Understanding the Changing Mobile User

The mobile market continues to evolve at a blindingly fast pace. It seems that new faster, sleeker, and more powerful mobile devices are launched every day, with new device categories created almost overnight. The number of available applications to run on these revolutionary new devices is staggering, numbering in the millions. Now you can do everything, from banking and controlling your home thermostat to shopping, entertainment, and printing a boarding pass, all from the palm of your hand. In addition, we now have faster ways to connect these devices to the Internet using 4G/LTE or Wi-Fi technologies.

While service providers are clearly benefiting from the rise of mobility and all the innovations in devices applications they are constantly trying to understand how consumers are using mobility and where the mobile market is heading. To continue to derive business value from mobility, service providers need to better understand mobility from the users’ perspective and translate what they discover into new sources of business value.

To learn more, Cisco conducted a survey of 620 U.S. mobile users to understand their needs and behaviors, use of devices, applications and mobile access technologies, and how they have changed since our 2012 mobile consumer survey.

The study revealed Read More »

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