2013 Predictions: Top technologies and trends for 2013

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Editor’s Note: With 2013 now upon us, RCR Wireless News has gathered predictions from leading industry analysts and executives on what they expect to see in the new year.

As we gaze at the crystal ball – or rather the crystal cloud – for the mobile industry in 2013, we see some significant technologies and trends that have the potential to transform this market over the next couple of years. As we examine these technologies and trends, two fundamental requirements stand out – security and interworking. These necessities are natural in a market that is in the midst of a significant transformation – the need to interwork between the existing and new technologies and the requirement to secure existing and new technologies and services as new ones are introduced and integrated. Here are some the market shifts that will be happening over the next year.

–The proliferation of LTE broadband networks will be an exciting development in 2013. LTE promises, for the first time, to offer reliable high speed wireless broadband connectivity at appealing prices, and this improved affordability is expected to accelerate wireless broadband adoption both in enterprises and among residential users. The adoption of LTE, along with the availability of powerful tablets and smartphones at affordable prices, will further fuel the “bring-your-own-device” trend in 2013. There will be a greater utilization of mobile devices by enterprises, which is expected to speed up collaborative communications within enterprises. BYOD will introduce its own set of security issues in both the enterprise and service provider networks. Session border controllers will play an important role in addressing the security concerns resulting from BYOD adoption. As BYOD gains traction within enterprises, user- and device-based policy control and enforcement will be critical to protecting corporate information and data.

–This year, LTE networks will continue to be deployed at a rapid pace in preparation for the market explosion of voice over LTE in 2014. In 2013, VoLTE will still be in an “early adoption” phase, trying to iron out customer quality of experience issues. In the enterprise market, VoLTE will morph into unified communications over LTE as additional multimedia communication services are offered over LTE broadband. Security concerns, at the border and within the network, will be front-and-center in the all-IP VoLTE nework. Security devices such as the SBC will be an integral part of a comprehensive VoLTE security solution.

–The volume of video traffic, both interactive and streaming, will increase exponentially over the next few years. Today’s knowledge workers want to communicate on their own devices using their own apps, regardless of location. Wireless networks will have to grapple with congestion and quality of service issues that result from this increased volume. Secure and reliable delivery of real-time multimedia will be important, as will interworking among islands of video communications that use different formats, such as SIP based, H.323 based, and proprietary services.

–Another significant trend for 2013 will be the migration from enterprise services with remote VPN access to public, private and hybrid clouds. A majority of the cloud deployments will be hybrid during this migration phase in the next few years as enterprises balance existing on-premise requirements with that of a public cloud. Security will be required for on-premise access as well as the cloud.

–WebRTC and other browser-based communication technologies will start to be deployed in a meaningful manner towards the end of 2013. The early adopters of this technology will be enterprises for specific applications such as contact centers. A browser-based plug-in application with open interfaces introduces significant security threats in the network that the market will address throughout the year. In the early stages, there will be a requirement for WebRTC to interwork with current technologies such as SIP clouds and PSTN for voice and multimedia communication. SBCs can bridge these islands of communication.

–Unsurprisingly, the role of “big data” will continue to increase over the next year. With the convergence of mobile and social technologies, and the increase in volume of the informational data generated by mobile devices and networks, there will be a greater demand for targeted analytics on consumer, network and device behavior using big data.

–The industry will also witness a steady growth in the machine-to-machine market with new vertical applications and connectivity requirements. As millions – maybe billions – of devices come online and are connected via wireless and other networks, there is a legitimate concern about security. A comprehensive security solution will be multi-faceted and will include SBCs, among others.

Underlying all of these trends and advancements is the demand for increased security and interworking – the need to secure the enterprise, secure the user, secure the network and secure the data; and the requirement to interwork between devices, between protocols and between networks. Solutions that can address both of these issues – such as SBCs – will play an increasingly important role in the mobile, enterprise and service provider industry over the coming year.

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About Author

Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
[email protected]
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”

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