& cplSiteName &

Unstrung's 2007 Look Ahead

Light Reading
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 saying 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 of 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        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments


It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


Light Reading talked to George McGregor of Citrix about the NetScaler Mobile Gateway - an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
Nokia & Facebook Push Undersea Fiber to 32 Tbit/s
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 3/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.