Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yankee Group uncovers 4G disconnect

CHICAGO, USA: While 60 percent of users surveyed by Yankee Group say they are interested in mobile Internet access, just 3 percent say they are anxiously awaiting 4G and 43 percent say they have heard the term “4G” but don’'t understand what it means.

That disconnect is just one hurdle service providers must overcome before they can successfully reap the promise of 4G and the mobile Internet.

These are core topics of 4G World and Mobile Internet World, which run through Sept. 18. The events have 7,000 registered attendees, and feature 250 sponsors and exhibitors and 150 speakers, including eight Yankee Group analysts. The report, “Beyond 4G Rhetoric: Capitalizing on the Mobile Internet,” released today spotlights industry challenges:

* Mobile Internet is spawning new, tougher competition. Service providers are not only challenged to transform their businesses for the mobile Internet, but must also keep up with innovative non-carrier competitors, like device makers Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM and Nokia, as well as new entrants in emerging markets.

* High smartphone usage will continue to stress networks. Yankee Group surveys show 60 percent of users are likely or highly likely to purchase a smartphone as their next mobile device. Data traffic is expected to increase by more than 29 times between 2009 and 2015, with most demand coming from smartphones. In fact, the proportion of data traffic coming from smartphones will increase from 18.5 to 56 percent between 2009 and 2015.

* Service providers must overhaul their infrastructure. “In addition to moving to all-IP cores, service providers must adopt holistic strategies to transform their entire network, IT and operational ecosystems,” says Phil Marshall, senior research fellow and author of the report. “Service providers must capitalize on the mobile Internet or perish.”

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