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Mobile Ecosystem
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2012: The Mobile Ecosystem
vs. the End of the World

| Jan 4, 2012 | Mobile Ecosystem
| Analyst: Peter Jarich, Service Director, Mobile Ecosystem

Towards the end of last year, we took an opportunity to review the key events that shaped the mobile ecosystem in 2011 (see 2011: A Year in the Life of the Mobile Ecosystem). It’s only natural, then, to look forward to 2012 in order to prepare ourselves for what lies ahead in the New Year.

Many people – based on the end of the current cycle of the Mayan Long Count calendar this upcoming December – have predicted that the world will come to an end in 2012. Even if actual Mayans agreed (and, they don’t), it would be hard to make the same case for the mobile ecosystem in 2012. 2011 saw plenty of mobile evolution and innovation in a “food chain” that stretches from mobile device silicon up through the devices themselves, networks and services. There’s no reason to believe that 2012 will be any different. Strangely enough, however, some of these evolutions are positioned as reaching their terminus - a relative “end of the world.” Consider the end of new air interface evolutions brought about by the arrival of LTE. Consider an end to (mature market) operators needing to drive mobile data usage actively. Consider an end of the battles between cellular and WiFi as components of a mobile broadband offer.

Yet, even as some technology or business themes mature to a point of limited further evolution, 2012 should make it obvious that two key themes are simultaneously driving the market forward: the need for operators to grapple with increasing amounts of mobile broadband traffic, and the need for these same operators to maximize user experience in an effort to avoid the dreaded “dumb pipe syndrome” and differentiate against more traditional competitors. Across 2012, these themes will have diverse implications – keeping the mobile ecosystem alive and well into 2013.

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