Sunday, January 8, 2012

Top Ten Communications, Tech, and Media Industry Trends For 2012

2012 Trends in Fiber
Article Link by Arvind Arora

Carriers will be putting a huge emphasis on fiber-based services to deal with mobile networks that are being pushed to their limits, according to M/C Partners, which has released its annual list of the top 10 communications, technology and media industry trends to watch in 2012.

A dramatic increase in cloud services and video consumption are creating serious challenges for carriers, who will be scrambling to address the issue. Many will use fiber to upgrade cell tower backhaul networks to raise network capacity, according to the private equity firm’s list.

M/C Partners compiled the list as part of its ongoing research to understand industry trends and identify investment opportunities in the communications, media, and information technology sectors.

According to M/C Partners, the leading trend in the new year will be carriers’ use of fiber to upgrade cell tower backhaul networks to gigabit connections, a staggering increase from the 1-2 megabits carriers provisioned to cell towers only a few years ago.

“As mobile users expect their phones to operate more like PCs and increase their consumption of social and traditional media, mobile networks are being pushed to their absolute limits,” said James Wade, Managing General Partner, M/C Partners.

“Adoption of cloud services and mobile consumption of video are only in their early stages, but growing very quickly. Networks are struggling to handle it right now. What will happen when demand grows ten-fold, as it likely will? Ubiquitous fiber will be the solution.”

Trends on the M/C Partners’ list include:

1. Fiber to the tower will become the number one priority for network operators struggling to deal with mobile users’ insatiable thirst for broadband.

2. Enterprise adoption of cloud-based services will drive demand for network-based managed services that will provide critical monitoring and management of application and service performance across LANs, MANs, WANs and the public Internet.

3. New technological innovations on the handset and in the network will improve important services like caching, compression and signaling to enhance mobile user experience, battery life and network access.

4. Consumerization of the enterprise will expand as end users move from simply driving iPhone and iPad adoption in the enterprise to pushing IT departments to provide more user-friendly and consumer-style applications for information sharing and management.

5. Micro-transaction business models will expand from social games into MMOGs, console games and other areas such as video, social networks and communications services providing consumer-directed price discrimination across a range of services.

6. HTML 5’s simplification of mobile application development will improve app economics, competition and usage by providing a seamless cross-platform experience and backward compatibility to the PC environment without sacrificing performance.

7. Consumers will realize the value of managed technology services from OEMs, broadband service providers and independent tech support companies to maximize the utility of their networked devices, as the need for better performance and up-time becomes increasingly valuable to consumers.

8. The content rental model will push beyond music and video into print publications with tablets providing an improved consumption medium that content owners will seek to fill with magazines and books.

9. Marketing options for small local businesses will expand beyond daily deals into more powerful tools that provide better yield management and integration with traditional local media and direct marketing for improved customer acquisition and lifetime value of customers.

10. Cable operators will answer over-the-top threats with apps and more subscription package variety to gain the upper hand in alternative video viewing options for consumers while still preserving the critical distribution and billing relationship.

M/C Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on the communications, media, and information technology sectors. The firm has invested over $1.5 billion into nearly 100 companies in those sectors. Companies M/C has backed include Cavalier Telephone, Corelink, Fusepoint, GTS Central Europe, ICG Communications, Legendary Pictures, Lightower, MetroPCS, NuVox, Open Mobile, Public Mobile, Seven Networks and Zayo Group.

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1 comment:

  1. This article is dead on. Recently leaving the CLEC industry I have personally found that if you do not have fiber you simply cannot compete; today, fiber is the new T-1. As companies retool and reinvent themselves to meet the demands for cloud based solutions they have hit the chicken or the egg proverbial wall.

    With these types of solutions bandwidth is a must and today’s bandwidth is fiber. From an enterprise standpoint it’s all about value for dollars spent. Open systems, cloud back-up, firewalls in the cloud and the burst of fiber expansion have created the “Bring your own bandwidth” craze. For the first time in my career the end-users are driving the carriers rather than the other way around.

    As the personal user becomes more and more sophisticated the demand for fiber will only increase. Smartphones, iPad’s, iPhones, triple play and fiber to the home have made us apps crazy. Driving cellular carriers to abandon their multiple T-1’s to the tower concept to redundant fiber routes to their towers. The cable companies are also falling all over themselves delivering apps and triple play services to their consumers, fiber again is to the rescue.

    Simply put; no matter how much you may want to fight it. The “Good old days” are gone. We are a society who demands more. The more we get the more we want.

    Who ever thought we would be able to regulate our home’s temperature or turn on the lights remotely from our smartphone. Not me! Oh it's time turn on the lights!