Light Reading
Our fearless team of savants presents its bold and unflinching predictions for the coming year

2007: A Look Ahead

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
12/27/2006
50%
50%

Dusting off the good ole crystal ball, Unstrung editors look ahead with bold and unflinching predictions for wireless technologies and companies in 2007. All predictions guaranteed accurate or your money back!

  • In-Flight Connectivity: Connexions, the inflight wireless service launched by Boeing in 2000 and abandoned by the aircraft giant in August, looks to be all-the-way-dead as a group led by Lufthansa and Panasonic now says it is delaying plans to create a transition plan for the expensive system. Nevertheless, Denver-based airborne communications provider Aircell Inc. is moving forward with plans for inflight WiFi. Having outbid Verizon Wireless and other major carriers air-to-ground bandwidth in the FCC spectrum auctions last summer, AirCell says it will announce agreements to install WiFi services on board commercial planes by the end of the first quarter of 2007, with actual service following by end-of-year. (See AirCell Set for Takeoff.)

  • Wireless Brain Implants: Leaping from experimental therapy for extreme cases, such as quadriplegics and severe epilepsy, to more common maladies like Parkinson's, schizophrenia, and even less specific personality disorders like depression and insomnia, brain-implant technology will find battlefield applications as well, leading to a debate about the ethics of this powerful new science. At least one remarkable new wireless brain-implant device will make a splash in the tech press in the second half of 2007.

  • Sat-Radio Sellout: Drawing new customers and rave reviews but hemorrhaging cash, one of the dueling satellite-radio companies -- either XM or Sirius, likely the latter -- will be bought out by a major carrier or media company. The synergies and business-model affinities between, say, a big cable operator and sat-radio are too obvious, and too appealing, to be ignored. Time-Warner Satellite, anyone? (See Sat Radio: Looking Up.)

  • Muni Mesh Mess: At least one major lawsuit will arise between a U.S. city and its municipal-wireless provider. The expectations set up by the muni-wireless industry -- which includes startups making unsustainable promises and striking untenable deals almost as fast as they are losing money -- are simply not going to be fulfilled via WiFi networking gear, which is a powerful technology with some painful, and unavoidable, limitations. If you're a city official in a medium-sized city like Sacramento, better start consulting with the guys and gals in legal. (See Imbroglio by the Bay and Mesh Mess Sinks Sacramento Net.)

  • Sprint's New Flag: Falling further behind its rivals and with Alltel Corp. (NYSE: AT) beginning to nip at its heels, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will make a radical strategic shift, abandoning its fruitless quest to keep up in consumer subscriber growth and becoming a provider of high speed data services to consumers and enterprises (focusing on its EV-DO "Rev A" network and its planned nationwide WiMax system) and a wholesaler of network connections to other carriers. (See Rev A USA and Sprint Goes WiMax.)

  • IP Oh-No: Emboldened by the confidence of Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN) and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), a number of wireless companies, especially in the enterprise WiFi market, will try to go public in the first two or three quarters of 2007. Just as the disastrous IPO of Vonage did for VOIP providers in 2006, the success or failure of these public offerings will set the tone for the corporate wireless market in the last few months of the year and on into 2008. (See Aruba Files for IPO.)

  • Race to WiMax: The second half of next year will see the beginnings of a power struggle over which carrier will be the first to offer mobile WiMax services in the U.S. -- early leader Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) or upstart Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR). Craig McCaw's new wireless venture has made it clear in the latest IPO filing that it will aggressively seek to roll out mobile WiMax in 2007 if possible, while Sprint intends to launch its first markets at the end of 2007 and start the rollout proper in 2008. Sprint, however, likes to be first with new network technology. (See Clearwire Takes Another Cut at IPO.)

  • Carriers Get Converged: 2007 will be the year that the majority of U.S. carriers finally get hip to WiFi and fixed/mobile convergence. Fearing a further erosion in the average revenues they can charge for voice if they let users roam onto public WiFi networks, the big carriers aside from T-Mobile US Inc. have been content to leave FMC to startups and specialists up until now. This will change in 2007, partly because far more dual-mode handsets will become available, but mostly because carriers will have even more to fear from "good-enough" free phone services such as Skype Ltd. , which will increasingly take advantage of the mobility WiFi offers. (See Fixed/Mobile Handover Vexes Carriers.)

  • Hold That Call: Wide-area VOIP call quality and security will become a much bigger issue in 2007 than ever before as CDMA Rev A and WiMax network launches push the technology to the forefront. Expect a major mobile network outage to be blamed on VOIP-related issues before the end of the year.

  • Ow, My Funny Bone: "Wii Elbow" will replace "BlackBerry Thumb" as the gadget-related disease that sells column inches in 2007. Already we're hearing of little poppets that have wrenched their ulna or humerus flipping around with their new Nintendo controllers. [Ed note: Dan Jones wishes it known that he does not play video games and is not a medical expert, and so he knows even less about Nintendo than the BlackBerry thumb stories you called him about, thanks.]


— Dan Jones, Site Editor, and Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Bumper iPhone Sales Boost Apple Profits
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.