Yankee Group unveiled its annual predictions, projecting that 2010 will be a year of rebuilding for the communications sector. While the economic crisis has permanently changed how consumers, enterprises and network builders approach connectivity, the report, "From Crisis Comes Opportunity: Yankee Group's 2010 Predictions" forecasts opportunities in key areas including cord cutting, devices, cloud computing and network innovation
The Yankee Group 2010 predictions are:
-- Cord-cutting will double yet again in 2010. Consumers will continue to drop land-line phone service in favor of mobile, and mobile broadband replacement will accelerate.
-- The bell tolls for device subsidies. Lower operator profits will prompt many new no-subsidy, no-contract plans from major network operators.
-- Netbooks fall from grace. While netbooks won the battle for consumers' hearts in 2009, they will ultimately lose the war, as notebooks will take on similar form factors and similar prices without such drastic compromises in processing power.
-- Consumers drive more than 50 percent of enterprise smartphone purchases. Rampant consumerization of IT continues with the majority of wireless devices used for business purposes being purchased by employees themselves.
-- Chrome OS powers a new class of Anywhere devices. Google's browser-based OS won't be a PC killer, but it will power a new range of must-have consumer devices.
-- Cloudy IT sparks demand for clear management tools. One in three businesses will invest in a new class of cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) tools to manage hybrid IT infrastructures of physical and virtual assets.
-- Upstart upsets the equipment vendor applecart. As LTE strategies are aggressively pursued in North America, Huawei will jump the Pacific and take an early lead as the predominant LTE equipment supplier.
-- Enterprise trust lifts telcos to the top of the cloud. Service outages from Amazon, Google and others made clear that many cloud services aren't yet up to par. Telcos will become trusted intermediaries between disparate cloud environments, offering service delivery, SLAs, federation, orchestration, security and more.
-- Network innovation well runs dry. The telecommunications industry has long tapped start-ups and IPOs for innovation, but with venture funding on the steep decline, vendors will awaken to the fact that the start-up pipeline is broken.
-- Telcos unite behind infrastructure sharing. Led by European trailblazers, sharing of both active and passive network assets will become the de facto business model for efficient telcos in both developed and emerging markets.
-- U.S. network neutrality rules have domino effect worldwide. Decisions from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will reverberate globally, and service providers will be forced to become more transparent about internal traffic management practices and their effects on end-users.
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