Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/29/ericsson_forecasts_2012/

Mobile operators need to evolve in 2012

Ericsson looks into crystal ball

By Natalie Apostolou

Posted in Business, 29th December 2011 21:30 GMT

Mobile operators will be forced to up the ante on innovative business models if they are to survive, warns vendor Ericsson.

Delivering its predictions for the year ahead and beyond, Ericsson predicts that maturing markets and heightened competition between mobile broadband operators will force them to dramatically shift business models.

Borrowing from innovative business models working in the financial services and airline industries, are set to follow in the year ahead particularly those involving loyalty, user profiles and preferences and customisation, Ericsson predicts.

Operators will also have to take a leadership role in monetising rising technology trends such as mobile money, Near Field Communications and cloud based services.

“We see great opportunities for telecoms operators to commercialise those cloud applications and open up opportunities in traditional markets such as outsourced billing for over-the-top players, or as a vehicle to enter emerging segments like cloud-based M2M platforms for vertical industries,” Ericsson region head for Ericsson in Southeast Asia and Oceania, Arun Bansal said.

In the area of applications, 2012 will see LTE operators offer smartphones offering VoIP powered services, VoLTE, allowing calls to be moved between platforms - from PC to mobile to fixed phone.

LTE will also emerge as a legitimate alternative to propriety communications technologies and solutions for industries such as utilities and public safety, the vendor predicts.

Investment in LTE networks will emerge from these utility sectors, either by building private networks or network sharing relationships with mobile operators.

Meanwhile the march of the smartphone in Australia will continue to escalate. Ericsson forecasts that smartphone users will outnumber feature phone users for the first time in 2012.

Worldwide tablet momentum will show no signs of slowing, with the number of tablet subscriptions expected to grow 10 times in the next five years. Growth in tablets and smart phones will put pressure on networks to provide high performance to meet device capabilities. ®