2011: Predictions for the year ahead

A report from US firm Pyramid Research which details its expectations for the telecoms market in 2012 predicts that managed-network IPTV services will be in one per cent of households worldwide next year.

The global telecoms market is projected to grow four per cent in 2012, compared to seven per cent this year, with the weaker growth attributed to rising volatility and uncertainties facing the global economy. Total worldwide service revenues are expected to reach $1tn (2.4 per cent of global GDP) in 2012.

Mobile broadband is expected to be one of the largest growth areas for telecoms next year, particularly as the price of high-speed mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets come down, enabling further penetration in emerging markets.

Broadband penetration is expected to pass 10 per cent globally next year, creating opportunities to provide consumers with new information, entertainment and value-added services.

Pyramid Research does however expect to see a slowdown in Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments worldwide in favour of VDSL rollouts, due to the latter being a much less expensive way to extend higher capacities to customers. This is “certainly the case” in Western European markets, where operators are focused on VDSL expansion.

The largest markets for fibre rollout will continue to be Russia and China, which are favouring a less-expensive Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) versus FTTH configuration, according to the report. Middle Eastern operators will continue their push for last-mile fibre access, particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, with FTTx rollout driving IPTV adoption in a number of countries in the region.

Another bold prediction made by the research firm is that we will witness the beginning of the end of WiMAX in Asia next year, as operators in countries such as Taiwan and Malaysia opt to use LTE instead. Waning operator support is expected to result in declining vendor support and higher prices for the technology and, crucially, the price of end-user devices, which “ultimately determine a technology’s success”, according to Pyramid.


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