Feature Article

March 24, 2014

Top Mobile and Telco Predictions for 2014

Prior to the opening of the 2014 Mobile World Congress, tyntec, a mobile interaction specialist, enabling businesses to integrate mobile services into business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer communications, released its top 2014 predictions for the global telecom industry.

The forecast indicated 2014 will be the year of stronger mobile-to-mobile communication offerings from tech heavyweights like Apple, Facebook, and Google, who will continue to invest millions in mobile communications technology to enhance the mobile experience. Simultaneously, operators will witness the launch of standards and technologies like WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) and VoLTE (Voice over LTE), which will play a contributing role in accelerating the OTT (Over The Top) ecosystem.

While the respective appearance of these new standards and technologies will create equal opportunities for both OTT players and operators alike, they will also turn up the pressure on the largely defeated RCS-e/Joyn initiative. On the already tense European regulation front, 2014 will see an increased tension between OTT and operators causing more upheaval for MNOs (Mobile Network Operators).

"Mobile World Congress is the place to discuss and discover the latest trends in the mobile industry and I have high expectations for lively discussions at the show. One hot topic will be WebRTC which will extend potential-for-growth to both OTT players and operators, while creating extra opportunity for operators to evolve. 2014 is a challenging year with the introduction of new EU roaming regulations that will bring OTTs and operators into further competing situations, causing more layoffs and consolidation for operators," said Thorsten Trapp, Co-Founder and CTO of tyntec. "I'm confident there will be a tremendous focus on One-Time Passwords as a mechanism to authenticate user identity and there will be a massive adoption from all types of businesses and Internet companies this year."

Other 2014 predictions included OTT providers beef-up mobile messaging, in 2013, various rollouts of mobile messaging capabilities. For instance, Apple's iMessage, Google's Hangouts on Android phones, Facebook's revamped Messenger and most recently, Instagram direct. The appeal with these types of mobile-to-mobile communications capabilities is that internet players are able to link phone numbers to online accounts, enabling users to communicate with the entire network via their mobile application In 2014 from internet players to increase functionality and adoption of their messaging services.

Second, VoLTE: unexclusive voice and data benefits for operators Mobile operators are under no illusion that OTT communications will have a financial impact on their industry. More consolidations, like those seen by European MNOs, will be imminent for operators who continue to sidestep partnering opportunities. In an attempt to regain their footing, many will flock to VoLTE, a standards-based technology that supports VoIP calls over the LTE network. In 2014, operators will plan to roll out VoLTE devices to help cut operating costs and compete with OTT applications based on quality.

Third, WebRTC spurs innovation and creates opportunity for operator evolution. Supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera, WebRTC enables real-time communications using a web browser without the need to download plug-ins. 2014 will be the year that WebRTC fosters easy-to-access innovation in communication. It will emerge as a standardized functionality for all browsers, the process for web developers to include OTT voice and video will become super simplified. WebRTC will act as an accelerant, speeding up the OTT ecosystem and put mounting pressure on the GSMA's RCS standard.

Finally, Securing data in the cloud: two factor authentication adoption rate will skyrocket in 2014. In 2014, Internet companies will continue embracing SMS-based two factor authentication (2FA), and it is anticipated to experience a 50 percent adoption rate, globally. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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