Increasing service usage in the home and workplace will drive the evolution of wireless networks and services in developed markets, according to one of the scenarios highlighted in the report, The Future of the Global Wireless Industry: scenarios for 2007-12, written by Unwired Insight.
Unwired Insight has defined three plausible scenarios for the evolution of the wireless industry during the next five years: “Low-cost Data Pipes”, “Emerging Markets Thrive” and “Cellular Goes Indoors”.
“It is dangerous to define a business strategy and plan based on a single view of the future because of the high level of uncertainty in the wireless industry,” according to report co-author, Dr Mark Heath.
“Organisations need to define a robust strategy and test their business assumptions against different industry evolution paths, such as the three depicted in our scenarios.”
In the “Cellular Goes Indoors” scenario, the industry focus changes quickly from the provision of outdoor mobile services to indoor services. Mobile operators respond to subscribers’ increasing expectations for indoor coverage by deploying millions of indoor base stations. This enables them to achieve growth in ARPU through increased use of mobile voice telephony and non-voice services such as mobile TV and fixed broadband.
“Fixed broadband and cellular technologies will fulfil complementary roles within homes and offices,” according to co-author Dr Alastair Brydon.
“This will drive mobile operators to diversify their operations to include fixed as well as mobile services. Furthermore, mobile operators will be forced to invest heavily in the provision of indoor cellular coverage.”
“Increasing usage of mobile voice and data services indoors suggests that indoor services are set to become a key area of competition for the wireless industry,” according to Mark Heath.
“Despite poor in-building coverage, the number of mobile users that make cellular calls at home is increasing. By 2006, more than 70% of all voice traffic in Finland originated on a mobile phone. In addition, early trials have shown that homes and offices are the two most popular locations for using mobile TV services.”