Tech and Telecom Trends in 2016

by Matt Klassen on December 29, 2015

crystal-ballLooking ahead to 2016 one doesn’t have to be Nostradamus to see that what lies beyond will most likely look a lot like what has come before, as it seems the trends we will see in tech and telecom will simply be a continuation of what we’ve already seen.

Now you might think that such a conservative stance on predicting market trends is simply a cop-out, and perhaps you’re right, but the truth of the matter is that 2015 has planted the seeds for the trends we’ll see harvested not only in 2016, but in several years to come as well.

With that said, from gadgets to automation, from privacy to IoT, 2016 is definitely shaping up to be an interesting year, where many of things we’ve only started to flirt with will explode onto the market, and here are six of the most significant stories (some positive, some negative) that we’ll almost certainly see this next year.

1. Privacy vs. Public Safety

The issue of enhanced mobile encryption standards and the threat they pose to effective law enforcement and public safety will only heighten in 2016, as regulators struggle to comprehend the balance that needs to be struck between the two. Tech and mobile companies will continue to clamour for maintaining unbreakable encryption standards, carriers and law enforcement will continue to decry the fact that they’re being left on the outside looking in, and terrorists will continue to enjoy the safe harbour they’ve been granted from the public’s general distrust of those tasked with keeping us safe.

2. Mobile Advertising

The advertising industry is in for a rough ride in 2016, particularly as the industry attempts to traverse a growing public revolt against irrelevant and intrusive advertising through the continued deployment of ad-blocking software, and the growing amount of legislation aimed at curbing the data collection needed for more individualized, targeted advertising.

Consequently, companies like Google and Facebook, who depend on advertising as their primary revenue stream, will have to rethink their approach to making money, having to find ways to lessen their dependence on advertising while creating other viable revenue options.

3. IoT

So far 2015 has presented us with the potential for the Internet of Things, but admittedly much of what we’ve seen so far is a niche market experimenting with many different possibilities for installing network connectivity in every doo-dad and whatchamacallit. With so many gadgets and gizmos now imbued with network connectivity, it can be difficult to see the reason behind it, as it seems a toaster is still a toaster, even if it sends a message to my phone telling me my breakfast is ready. The thing is, coupled with advances in AI, the disruptive potential of IoT is truly staggering, although it’s likely we’ll continue to see incremental advances in this industry in the coming year.

4. FCC & Net Neutrality

Consider this my only prediction: The FCC’s Net Neutrality standards will be overturned, or at least hamstrung, by the pending decision of the recent legal proceedings, simply for the fact that the Commission lacks the authority to designate things like Internet service as a public utility. While reclassification was the right way to go, what we’ll likely hear is that the FCC needs Congressional approval to make such a switch legally binding, which the Republican-dominant bureaucratic entity will never grant.

 5. Self-Driving Cars

There seems to be an interesting intermediate trend emerging in the growing self-driving cars market, as analysts predict that 2016 will give rise to the development of enhanced cruise control systems, ones that will operate your car on the highway. The problem is, however, that this technology will likely be obsolete in less than two years, meaning perhaps its best to wait for what is coming next.

 6. Yahoo

Like Scrooge witnessing future events will that come to pass unless something changes in the present, let me say that if things proceed as they have been for Yahoo, 2016 will undoubtedly result in us all gazing at a tombstone with the company’s once famous moniker emblazoned across it. The last of the great Internet pioneers is circling the drain, and it seems unlikely that anything can keep it from going under.

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

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