What is it about the mobile industry? Always chasing the next thing and never being fully satisfied with what we have today – actually, that’s also what makes the industry such fun.
Before we’ve even fully maximised what you can do with 4G, everybody – from the technologists to the marketers and even the customers – starts to talk about how amazing 5G will be and what wonderful services it will enable.
But to live in the present, and the very near future for a while, there’s a lot to get excited about right now as well as plenty to speculate about in the very near future.
For a start, 4G networks will need to get smaller so they can get bigger. We’ll see far more indoor coverage hotspots created as the operators look to increase capacity and eliminate the ‘not spots’. They will need to do that to cope with the demand for IoT services and for smart devices to securely access payment services on the mobile network rather than WiFi.
And smart devices can be expected to get even smarter. With Apple trying to push back the march of the Androids, what will they come up with next? They have to combat the belief that the i-model approach is perhaps too restrictive and elitist; even if for some high-end prestige users those qualities are part of the appeal!
But faced with a falling market share, “what will Apple do next?” becomes a really exciting question. They are not going to leave the innovation to Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi – they will look to deliver another major evolution in consumer electronics to reclaim the high ground. All in one IoT anybody?
Meanwhile as far as the users are concerned, the appetite for Apps shows no sign of slowing down – especially among the younger generations. Businesses who have tried to embrace the BYOD model have run into problems when the social media platforms clash with the corporate network.
That’s why a lot of younger staff prefer two phones – one social and one work, especially if the work phone is a high-end device beyond the reach of their personal pocket. These workers embrace the potential of the technology today as well as chase the dreams of tomorrow. Meanwhile, the older generations tend to stick with what they know, although they can be gently guided towards the world of enterprise apps that give them better mobile access to the tools they use on the desktop.
It is hard to hold back the dominance of apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and WeChat, which are leaking across into the working environment, often beyond the reach of the corporate network creating a potential security risk. Getting the balance right is a real organisational challenge for the IT team who long for the days of the good old Blackberry phone, offering levels of security and encryption in a messaging application wrapped up in a handset. Can Android up its game to take that place?
As usual, there is so much going on in this market – so much to look out for and so much to look forward to; it’s a never-ending stream of mobile technology. Jump in and enjoy what we’ve got, and get ready for the next wave.
For more comment or blogs from Louis, please see www.onecom.co.uk/blogs or to chat with Onecom’s team, call 0203 675 3300.