LTE, Mobile Video Calling, Android Top Trends in 2011: Report
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Independent strategic management consulting firm Northstream announced its annual top five trends for the global mobile industry in 2011, naming LTE (Long-Term Evolution) deployment, mobile video calling adoption, the rise of Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems, increased mobile broadband availability and specific data price bundles as areas to closely monitor in the coming year.
The company noted there have been nine commercial LTE deployments this year, and a further 44 additional launches are anticipated for 2011. In total, 113 operators have publicly committed to the technology across 46 different countries with 43 LTE trials currently in operation. However, Northstream analysts said despite this strong growth, LTE faces an unpredictable future in 2011 with its sustained global deployment being impacted by a variety of factors, including additional spectrum requirements that could lead to widespread fragmentation.
"Widespread LTE enabled smartphones will be available beyond 2011, when there will be sufficient choice to interest mobile consumers and a proven LTE voice solution will have been found," the report noted.
Mobile video calling got a boost through the iPhone 4, which now boasts face-facing cameras, a large high-resolution display, and interactive applications that can switch between a standard voice call and a WiFi-enabled video call by the touch of a screen. Despite just 1 percent of existing 3G calls being video enabled, Skype claims that its share of video calls stands at 40 percent of total customer interactions. Furthermore, the report noted the number of video call enabled Apple devices alone is set to exceed 100 million over the next 12 months, with Cisco likely to launch a consumer version of its video conferencing system.