Feature Article

February 15, 2014

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

Mobile phone technology has made several leaps and this week was no exception to the trend. For example, cloud-based technology is bringing the possibility of an “Internet of Things” closer and closer to reality. Because of this, traditional mobile operators are finding themselves needing to either adapt with the times, or prepare to take several cost-cutting measures in order to still turn a profit.

One of these mobile phone giants, Verizon, made preparations this week to close several offices that run customer-service call centers. Verizon has not made any comment for why they plan to close these offices, but the obvious answer is that they are looking to cut costs. At this time it is unknown why Verizon is trying to reduce their expenditures, but theories range from the increasing prevalence of mobile VoIP providers taking their customers to a recent bid by Vodaphone to purchase a large stake in Verizon's stocks.

Other smaller mobile phone providers like FreedomPop are choosing to embrace cheaper calling and data options. With FreedomPop, customers can actually get free 4G wireless Internet service and free cell phone service with the purchase of one of their phones. Because the phone is a one-time fee, customers who go with FreedomPop pay much less for their smartphone package than almost any other provider. If they'd like to upgrade to a more extensive plan, prices are available at extremely modest rates.

If FreedomPop offers a glimpse into the future of what mobile providers could be offering customers, another could include Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR). MAR involves software and hardware that is able to recognize people and objects from the real world through a camera or other sensors, and then reinterpret it on-screen into usable data. This could be used for either games or the analysis of physical objects, and compatible with wearable technology like Google Glass. Currently, one of the biggest roadblocks to this is inefficient data streaming, as MAR apps would be very data-heavy.

Ultimately, wireless technology will be evolving in 2014 to include several new services and cloud-accessibility. Several experts from Nexius predicted this week that mobile technology will begin relying on the “Internet of Things” this year, with smartphones acting like mobile control panels for various appliances and devices. They also predicted that smaller mobile providers will become more popular than the big corporate mobile carriers, and that they will be able to serve localized areas with more attention.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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