A Few 2011 Predictions
By Andrew M. Seybold
THE EASY PREDICTIONS FIRST:
Ends up in the courts and the FCC's recent action on Net Neutrality is overturned.
The new Congress threatens to withhold funds from the FCC if they try to put Net Neutrality back on the agenda.
2011 sees the introduction of over 50 new tablets, including 2 new iPads. There will be 35 shown at CES alone. But, by the end of the year, the field of competitors is cut in half because of lackluster sales of many of these tablets.
New tablets start the process of technology creep. Several start offering hard drives, cutting the battery life, and more features are added by others to try and out do their competitors. The definition of a tablet gets blurred.
The end of year winners are: Apple, RIM (Playbook), Samsung, and Motorola.
The Windows-based tablets are not well received and flounder early on.
Streaming Video starts to take its toll on Internet capacity—both wired and wireless—and the result is that the Internet backbone starts to reach its capacity and slows down. This will be followed in 2012 by an even greater lack of overall Internet Capacity.
Those organizations which use the Internet as if it were a Mission Critical Network are surprised when failures start occurring.
Network operators continue to speed up their network management by changing pricing and will start capping monthly data usage. (Note: This is already fairly standard practice in wireless, but will start to be seen in wired and cable access, too.)
THE REST OF THEM:
Clearwire runs out of money yet again and scrambles to stay in business. Sprint is caught with having to bail Clearwire out, hurting Sprint's recovery efforts and sending their stock much lower.
Google flexes its fiber muscles, picks the cities in which it will begin offering fiber connections, and starts building out the systems. When they bring the system up, there is a free and a paid access option available. The free option—surprise, surprise—requires Google as the home page.
The Chairman of the FCC will resign after losing both the Net Neutrality and the Public Safety Broadband battles (Public Safety will get the 700 MHz D block re-allocated to it by Congress).
There will be several happenings in 2011 that no one had predicted. A merger, an acquisition, and probably a new "must have" device and perhaps a new "must use" Website as social networking begins to lose its buzz.
About the author:
Andrew M. Seybold is one of the most respected and influential analysts in the wireless industry today. You can read his analysis in his Commentary e-Newsletter, his Tell It Like It Is Blog, and his Public Safety Advocate e-Newsletter. Andrew Seybold is the brother of Patricia Seybold.