Predictions and Prognostications: Tech and Telecom in 2012. Part 1

by Jeff Wiener on December 22, 2011

While many are predicting that 2012 will usher in the end of the world due in large part to interpretations of some esoteric Mayan calendar, my predictions are less of the doomsday variety—unless you’re RIM—and more of the tech and telecom sort, my musings about what stories will dominate the headlines here at TheTelecomblog in the year to come.

For its part, the year 2011 was one of Android, of failed AT&T acquisition deals, of tablets (mostly tablet failures), of unified communication platforms, the continued downfall of RIM, and the emergence of next generation 4G wireless network technology, just to name a few. While I would guess that some of these stories and trends will carry forward into 2012, look for some new stories to emerge.

So what will 2012 have to offer? Below I’ve compiled a number of disparate predictions, some my own and some not, covering a wide range of topics in the tech and telecom sectors. Some of the predictions are based on my own observations regarding market trends, some rely on analyst research, and others simply on industry rumours. My predictions regarding the end of the world, however, will have to wait for another time.

NFC

Over this past year one of the great emerging technologies has been near field communication, the short range wireless technology that allows devices to communicate with each other. While still in its infancy, NFC is the technology that will drive the mobile payment revolution in 2012, as more smartphones will come NFC equipped and more vendors across the continent will adopt the technology—either Google Wallet, ISIS, or one of the other leading projects—as yet one more method of easy payment.

RIM

What has happened to Research In Motion? Once a dominant company in both the corporate and consumer mobile markets, the Waterloo-based RIM has suffered through a year of miscues, poor decisions, and once again a distinct lack of innovation. These struggles have left RIM future hanging in the balance, with some analysts predicting that 2012 may be the last year for RIM as an independent company. Will RIM be able to pull itself out of this funk in 2012? Don’t count on it.

With the announcement that the company is still struggling to get its new Blackberry 10 OS to market, it doesn’t look like anything will change for RIM in the New Year. While I would be surprised to see RIM pack it in this year, I can certainly see the writing on the wall for the struggling mobile brand.

LTE

Aside from the fact that 2012 is shaping up to be the year of abbreviated names, one technology that will surely continue to grow in 2012 is 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution). Since its release in 2011 we’ve seen LTE quickly become the market standard for next gen wireless networks, with many other competing technologies like WiMax already admitting defeat. In fact, while LTE still remains an emerging technology look for it to infiltrate most corners of our technological existence this next year, replacing carrier’s 3G service in many markets.

That’s really only the tip of the iceberg, however, as there are countless other predictions running through my mind. Will Microsoft finally break into the mobile market, will Google start defending Android against the veritable onslaught of lawsuits being brought against it, and will we see a successful tablet not made by Apple?

To read part 2 of this post click here.

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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