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Technology, Media and Telecom Outlook for 2011

Informa Telecoms & Media recently revealed the top ten anticipated trends during 2011 -- for the telecoms and media sectors -- at its annual Industry Outlook event in
London, England.

"We have identified the key trends across our research areas that we
think will shape the converging global telecoms and media markets over
the next 12 months. In addition, our annual industry survey gave us some
insight into how the industry feels about the issues most likely to
dominate the landscape in 2011," says Mark Newman, Chief Research

1. Operators choose a smartphone platform strategy
The popularity of smartphone devices has led mobile operators,
developers and handset manufacturers alike to re-focus on this device.
Operators are trying to decide whether to build their own platforms or
accept that the Internet and OS players will dominate. The outcome of
this decision will determine who are the winners and losers.

2. Democratization of mobile smartphones
In 2010, smartphone adoption in the lower price tiers grew data revenues
from a broader user base -- this trend will accelerate in 2011. Some
vendors will further reduce the cost of smartphones, to create devices
for the mass-market -- a strategy that is welcomed by the mobile
operators. Informa expects 342 million smartphones to be sold worldwide
in 2011 -- equating to 27 percent of total handsets sold.

3. Strategic partnerships between operators and Internet players
The successful mobile operators will be those that have strategic
partnerships with key Internet players, and not the ones who want to
block these companies from accessing their customers. While operators
look to develop these relationships, they too are being forced to
partner with each other.

4. Operators to focus on vertical markets
Operators have considered the mobile enterprise opportunity for many
years. In 2011, their focus is machine-to-machine (M2M) rather than
voice and SMS. The healthcare sector is where they're still in the early
stages of learning the best opportunities. They will need to do the
same for each vertical sector, to decide where to develop applications.

5. Web 2.0 will provide opportunities for growth
Mobile operators must harness IM and social networking to increase the
use of their traditional messaging services, and to generate additional
revenues. Mobile operators will need to maintain a primary role in how
their subscribers access IM and social apps. This means implementing
network-based address book services -- which will be the starting point.

6. Operators must catch up in the superfast broadband race
So far, leaders of superfast broadband have been the cable operators --
telecoms operators must move in 2011. Those with fiber need to be
assertive -- to convince consumers and service providers to adopt their
new networks. Low prices and attractive bundles, rather than speeds,
will be vital. Operators will likely also rekindle their interest in
low-cost VDSL.

7. The battle for the connected home continues
Connected TVs will overtake games consoles as the dominant in-home
device, at least in terms of units sold. It's unclear how many people
will use the online video services. By the end of 2011, Informa believes
that we'll know whether over-the top services are game-changers for the
pay-TV industry.

8. Cable TV declines in Western Europe
Operators struggle to convert European cable homes from analog to
digital, and they're competing to upsell their subscribers to service
bundles -- triple-play or quad-play. Informa predicts that the number of
Western European cable TV subscribers will fall from 51 million in 2006
to 48 million in 2015 -- or from 31 percent of households to 26

9. LTE spectrum fragmentation will undermine its global potential
LTE's adaptability may undermine its global potential. The failure to
identify globally harmonized spectrum for next-generation 4G services
means that LTE is being required to provide operators with multiple
options -- in terms of channel size and spectrum band, as well as a
choice between FDD and TDD modes.

10. Network rationalization continues
2010 was a year of network rationalization -- 2011 looks to be no
different. When it's unsustainable for small carriers to deploy new
networks, market consolidation will follow, and so too will network
rationalization. Informa expects more network sharing -- as carriers
come under increasing pressure to universalize their networks and reach
the underserved.


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