If there’s one word to describe 2012, “mobility” is it. The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets continued this past year, completely dominating personal life and gradually making their way into the workplace. Smart device shipments broke records in Q3 2012 by reaching 303.6 million, and are expected to grow to 362 million in the holiday quarter. This statistic, coupled with the fact that smartphone users worldwide will download more than 45 billion apps this year – almost twice as many as last year – makes for a truly exploding market.
According to top executives of five global information and communications technology (ICT) companies, true mobility trends in the workplace and smarter mobile infrastructure are among the strongest trends for 2013.
“We are going through a radical shift in the way people work and use computers,” explained Jerker Hellström, CEO, Handheld Group. “Increasing availability and affordability of wireless broadband is giving the global workforce true mobility for the first time in history. Many of them will use mobile rugged computers for their everyday computing and communication needs, instead of traditional laptops.”
Predictions of 2013 trends also include a renewed focus on total cost of ownership of mobile computers. Higher productivity, increased labor costs and a strong trend toward true mobility in the workplace are all factors that have put the spotlight firmly on total costs of ownership for computers and devices. According to Hellström, organizations will have to start spending more on durable and reliable mobile computers rather than looking for bargains if they want to avoid losing valuable productive time.
A third trend Hellström predicts for 2013 is the emergence of Android as a valid operating system choice for mobile devices for enterprises.
“Android has taken the smartphone market by storm since its inception and is now maturing into a real valid option for enterprises, and is challenging Microsoft’s market leadership,” he said.
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Another set of predictions from Einar Ahlström, CEO, Cellmax Technologies, include smarter mobile infrastructure, a new focus on antennas for base stations and a quest to reduce signal wastage.
“Mobile operators are being squeezed by decreasing revenue per user, and a seemingly insatiable demand by users for more data,” said Ahlström. “To efficiently manage the rapidly growing increase in data traffic in their networks, mobile operators need to build and improve their infrastructure in a much smarter way.”
According to Ahlström, base stations antennas, long regarded as a cheap commodity, will get a revival with so-called ultra high-efficiency antennas. They can achieve higher signal strength, increase in area coverage, improve indoor penetration, increase traffic, improve data throughput and reduceproduction costs per call.
For the same reason, mobile operators will look for ways to deal with suboptimal transmission and to find solutions that do not “waste” the signal on areas outside their focus area, and that block all interference.
With the New Year only a few days away, only time will tell how quickly these trends start to come into play. One thing is for sure, and that is that mobility in 2012 has only been a tease of what’s to come in the upcoming years. Stay tuned!
Edited by Brooke Neuman