The agenda for this previously announced mobile event in Barcelona on February 25 – 28 has been published. (Come see us at our booth # 6C71!). Several sessions deal with Long Term Evolution and a panel discusses challenges the industry is now facing around LTE network deployment.
In online publications and from big consultancies there’s more on the topic. One article in the German publication c’t summarizes what fourth generation mobile communications can accomplish. In addition, Deloitte has published its study “Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2013″, parts of which also cover LTE.
Bottom line: LTE is growing and here to stay. Until the end of 2013 over 200 mobile providers in 75 countries will offer LTE-services. Most recent addition in Europe is Orange in France – after competitor SFR joined late in 2012. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica/O2 offer LTE services, while ePlus is still testing.
In terms of marketing, a key question for Deloitte is how best to differentiate 3G and 4G. Operators need to strike a balance between underwhelming and overselling, as there may not be any single new killer app in 4G, which 3G cannot deliver. What will differ markedly, however, is user experience, and as a result duration and intensity of usage.
This combination entails that for the increased data that will be transferred, Web pages and apps need more meticulous programming and even more custom tailoring to the available devices. Extensive testing will lead to an increase in quality and also will work as a differentiator.
An estimated 300 devices (smart phones, tablets und dongles) will be on the market by the end of this year. Looking at smart phones only, Apple and Samsung are hard to beat – c’t also mentions HTC One XL from Taiwan as one of the players in the field.
But competitors think on their feet and two of them currently work vigorously on their comeback. Nokia – one of the sponsors at the Mobile World Congress in February – is back in the black. The company gave up its own operating system Symbian and now relies on Windows in its attempt to catch up with its competitors. Microsoft in particular has put its focus on the mobile market in striking such a partnership. The company is still to be counted on, especially in the enterprise segment, where it always had a strong presence.
The quoted article points to an additional report, which highlights the new partnerships Microsoft has entered into: There’s Nokia for mobile apps, YELP supporting local searching and also Barnes & Nobles in e-reading und mobile devices. Its headline is strong: “Microsoft is raising an army” – alluding to the company arming itself against the key players in the market: Amazon and Apple.
Research in Motion is aware that this is their last chance in the mobile market. Today they are launching their new Blackberry 10 (IDC Analyst Ramon Llamas: “RIM is betting the farm…”). Historically, RIM was never the most developer-friendly platform and is now planning a 180-degree turn around in offering 70.000 apps on its Blackberry 10. The company pursues this goal aggressively in promising 10.000 USD during the first year of BB10 to each developer. Its huge installed base will come in handy when tackling this task. Today, Research In Motion Ltd announced it is changing its name to BlackBerry, the company announced on Wednesday, in move to refresh its tarnished image as it begins marketing a re-engineered line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
Looking at the big picture, it will be hard to catch up with Android and Apple by their sheer volume. Differentiation will be the name of the game and this will most probably not be decided by the number of apps a provider can push to market.
So here at DeviceAnywhere we lean back and just wait and see how the market responds. Our software is agnostic and works across each and every platform. The need for quality, thoroughly tested applications will be crucial and therefore, on the rise. The more data that is transferred over 4G, the more bugs will surface. Let’s wait and see…