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.
1. Federal Communications Commission approval of the 2012 acquisitions (Softbank acquires Sprint Nextel; Sprint Nextel buying Clearwire; and T-Mobile USA purchasing MetroPCS) will give smaller operators like Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA more spectrum than the larger operators like Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, despite only having half the subscriber numbers. Both Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA now have parents that have the ability and will to fund network expansion to improve their networks so that they are competitive with Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. With more than twice the spectrum per subscriber, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA will be able to continue to build networks that can be in a loaded environment faster than those of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. This should be a winning proposition for Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA: faster network, unlimited usage, at lower prices. Such a value proposition should be a CMO’s dream come true.
2. Roughly 90% of all new phones will be smartphones. Because of increasing capabilities and a decrease in price points, there will be no reason to specifically shop for one. Just like rotary phones the basic cell phone is rapidly facing extinction. Of the 57 different phones Verizon Wireless offers, 10 are basic phones. Sprint Nextel offers only four different kind of basic phones compared to 25 smartphones. As volumes dwindle, the choices of basic phones will dwindle too as handset manufactures find it less worthwhile to develop and manufacture them. Ultimately, there will be one or two basic phones available as even budget constraint customers will prefer smartphones over basic phones.
3. 2013 holds a proliferation for home security systems from both wireless and cable companies. An increase in utility and a decrease in price will encourage home owners to switch over to the wireless or fiber-based security system. With less than 20% of households in the United States owning a home security solution and about a quarter of the market controlled by the market leader ADT, this market will see quite a transformation. Comcast, Verizon Communications and AT&T are the most notable new entrants. While Comcast’s and Verizon’s offers are tied to their broadband fiber offers, AT&T enters the market with an offer wherever they provide 3G service and anyone’s broadband service. This makes AT&T’s offer by far more flexible and gives them a greater service area. This makes AT&T the provider to watch in the home security market.