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12/19/2007
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Consulting Group Releases Top 10 Predictions For The Wireless Industry

VeriSign subsidiary inCode sees HSDPA, open access, and iPhone security among its top 10 wireless trends for 2008.

6. Peer-to-peer will hit the mainstream as a technology. U.S. distributors will start using next-generation, secure, and DRM-protected P2P to distribute content. Additionally, studios and broadcasters will increase offerings of over-the-top services. Over-the-top refers to being able to download video on-demand and other content over the Internet on mobile devices.

7. Providing wireless coverage inside buildings will become a large part of carriers' strategy, especially when it comes to service enterprise customers. Carriers will enable coverage for their enterprise in-building customers, which bring in a lot of profit, instead of blanketing cities with coverage. Low-cost, low-power femtocells will be a key technology used by the carriers. Technical issues, however, will not take this technology into full swing next year.

Femtocells are small base stations designed for use in homes and offices to help spread cellular coverage inside buildings. They will attract more than 100 million users in the next 5 years, according to ABI Research. Potentially, the use of femtocells can improve indoor wireless coverage and help reduce "in-home" call charges on mobile devices.

8. As the carriers roll out 3G networks and introduce bandwidth-intensive services, they will have to optimize and upgrade the backhaul portion of their networks to ensure that service quality is not compromised. Backhaul will be a significant operational expense for carriers, often totaling nearly 30% of a carrier's annual network operating expense budget.

9. Mobile advertising will drive content and innovation, even causing carriers to give up their subscription-based business models. Advertising-based models will win over subscription-based models, similarly to what happened on the Internet. Intelligent search, location-based search, and other tie-ins with content and products will generate sizeable advertising revenues for carriers.

Mobile advertising sales in the U.S. accounted for $421 million in 2006. That number is expected to reach nearly $5 billion by 2011 in the U.S. alone, according to market research firm eMarketer. Global mobile advertising sales will reach $11.3 billion by 2011.

10. A major iPhone security incident will occur in the enterprise, raising awareness of and need for mobile device security. A new market will evolve for mobile device security software and mobile device management software and services. +

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