If your thinking of possibly entering the Mobile Market, or expanding an already existing business into the mobile market, but have thought you might be “too late to the party” Think again….
The truth is that less than 5% of the world has 4G (Also known as LTE) broadband service which, is the service that many online mobile services recommend. Everything from streaming video and audio to games recommend 4G broadband as without it they cannot guarantee quality of service and yet only a tiny fraction of the population has that capacity.
Although cell phones and smartphone penetration is much higher than the 10% my title suggests, the fact is that only 30% of the people worldwide have subscribed to a 3G or 4G service, so as the worldwide population continues to GROW every year, that statistic is much smaller than it might at first appear. Not only that fact is not taken into consideration but the fact that many of those subscribers do not even use their devices for much more than email or phone (how many of you have parents who own one and yet barely tap the ability it contains??) which means if you deduct 5% for users who have yet to start actually using the services even though they have the capability, another 5% for the thousands of babies born every hour (future customers) the fact is that 30% number is misleading and I feel confident the true number of those people who are actual broadband “consumers” is much lower at around the ten percent range worldwide, which leaves a hefty ninety percent untapped market my friends…
Beginning last year in 2013 and continuing into the current year and into the future, all the major Telcoms who offer LTE service started a big push and they have a fairly aggressive rollout schedule in order to try to stop the overwhelming data which has begun to flood their networks…. Its a race, a rave the stakes of which are absolutely massive. The fact is, the potential for mobile has barely been scratched, so back to my original question, if you are trying to decide whether to jump into the mobile market or not, come on in… The water is FINE!
The Future Market Trends
As technologies such as the next wave in wireless 802.11ac begin to take hold bandwidth in the first-wave 80MHz products will deliver throughout from 433 megabits per second on the low end to a maximum of 1.3 gigabits per second at the physical layer & more dense modulation schemes of up to up to 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), compared to 802.11n’s 64 QAM, for a 33 percent improvement. The new protocol doubles multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) capabilities. The increase moves from 802.11n’s four spatial streams to eight streams. For users, this means a speed boost, greater up-link reliability and opportunities for improved down-link reliability as well. For the internet this means massive increased bandwidth issues which, was why the IPv6 Protocol was developed in the first place…Look for IPv6 to also be a big winner in 2014 and beyond as more and more ISP’s, Backbone Providers and Telco’s begin migrating over from IPv4 do to the massive increase in bandwidth demands in 2014 and beyond.
A growing number of manufacturers are already shipping first-wave 802.11ac products for consumers and plan to expand offerings for business and enterprise network environments in the coming year. A Second Wave in Performance Speed and efficiency will ramp up even higher when Wave 2 devices for 802.11ac arrive. They’ll offer additional improvements in channel bonding by handling up to 160MHz, along with support for four spatial streams. These capabilities will help second-wave devices achieve throughput of around 3.47Gbps. (Source Cisco)
Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 40%, to more than 1 billion units, in 2013 and are on pace to reach 1.7 billion units by 2017. (Source: CDW)
In 2014 we will see an increase of both “Smart” mobile devices, increased access to unlimited storage space on these devices via the emerging free and subscription cloud storage and a “Quadrupling” increase in bandwidth beginning as 802.11ac takes hold and most important of all the majority of the mobile carriers will finish large portions of their 4G/LTE infrastructure upgrades over the next three years starting with some pretty large expansions this year which most analysts seem to ignore or forget even though this will be by far the largest contributor to the “hyperconverged” market as wherever these increased bandwidths occur, increases in sales of “smart”, “handheld” mobile device sales increased dramatically. Look for all of these emerging technologies to trigger a number of unique situations as well as opportunities and even new markets. This type of increased traffic has never been experienced before and my prediction is it will cause many problems with unprepared SaaS infrastructure capacity which you should be prepared for in 2014 however, even more important will be the emergence of the “Hyperconverged” network, the increased importance of the end-point device within the Enterprise market and the increased importance of the emerging “Bring Your Own Device” & “Bring Your Own Technology” (BYOD/BYOT) market and the management of as well as the security & compliance issues associated with it. Look for these emerging technologies and markets to become major influencers receiving large boosts in both Capital investiture as we as large sources of new ideas and SaaS solutions to address the issues which will be created by this new paradigm.
“However the reality is that all of these devices as they begin to communicate back to the cloud will begin to seriously erode the bandwidth capabilities of the current infrastructure, so look for startups with unique ideas of mitigating this increase in traffic to play a niche yet exciting and influential role as the “idea” people and “Think-Tanks” & “Brain-Trusts” such as the new “Synapse Synergy Group” begin to come into their own in 2014 and beyond” – Quote byJarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
Mobile broadband statistics
There are 2.1 billion mobile Web users in the world.
According to estimates by The ITU (June, 2013), there are 2.1 billion active mobile-broadband subscriptions in the world (this is people with a 3G or 4G connection). That is 29.5 percent of the global population.
• Mobile-broadband subscriptions have grown 40 percent annually over the last three years.
• Mobile-broadband subscription outnumber fixed broadband subscriptions 3:1.
• In developed countries mobile-broadband users often also have access to a fixed-broadband connection, but in developing countries mobile broadband is often the only access method available to people.
• Informa believes there were 1.9 billion 3G and 4G subscribers at the end of Q2 2013. See below for a breakdown of 3G/4G by country and definitions of 3G/4G.
• Ericsson (June 2013) estimates that there were 1.7 billion global mobile broadband subscriptions at the end of Q1 2013. This is forecast to reach 7 billion in 2018. The mobile phone (smartphone) will continue to be the dominant mobile broadband access device.
2) Top countries for mobile broadband
4G: USA is leading the world with 62.5 million subscribers to 4G networks, followed by Japan and South Korea. By market penetration the leaders are South Korea, Singapore and Japan, according to Informa (Q2 2013).
3G: China has the most 3G subscribers at 325.5 million, ahead of the USA and Japan. By market penetration the leaders are Italy, Japan and UK, according to Informa (Q2 2013).
• A 4G or fourth-generation network generally refers to an a high-speed mobile network based on LTE (Long Term Evolution) – more common – or WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access). 4G networks deliver data, such as Web pages, emails, music or video, much faster than 3G or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) networks, which in turn were much faster than 2G GSM networks.
• The first 4G network was launched by TeliaSonera Sweden in December 2009, according to 4G Americas. While Sweden still leads Europe for 4G, rapid growth has led to USA, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada and Singapore overtaking Sweden.
• Price is key to 4G penetration – only two of the top 20 LTE operators charge a premium price for 4G, these are the Optus in Australia and EE in the UK. “Pricing 4G access the same as 3G has proved to be the most effective way to increase 4G subscription numbers. Operators that have done this have seen an increase in data usage, higher data revenues and a reduction in churn,” says Paul Lambert, Informa Telecoms & Media.
3G & 4G subscriber % Penetration with Launch Dates
4G Global126 million1.77% Q4 2009
3G Global1,750.3 million24.55%
4G USA62.5 million19.61%Q4 2010
3G China325.5 million24%
4G Japan26.1 million20.67%Q4 2010
3G USA225.0 million70.6%
3G South Korea23.0 million47.17%Q3 2011
3G Japan111.5 million88.3%
3G Australia3.9 million16.76%Q3 2011
3G Canada2.3 million6.7%Q3 2011
3G Brazil77.2 million38.6%
3G Singapore1.2 million22.9%Q2 2011
3G Italy55.1 million90.5%
3G Sweden1.1 million11.2%Q4 2009
3G Indonesia46.1 million18.7%
3G Russia0.9 million0.64%Q3 2012
3G UK45.8 million72.6%
4G Germany0.9 million1.06%Q4 2010
4G UK0.7 million1.77%Q4 2012
3G Germany45.1 million55.1%
Source (4G/3G data): Paul Lambert, Informa (Q2 2013)
Source (launch dates): 4G Americas via: mobiThinking
By Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
CTO of the following –
Synapse Synergy Group
Chief Technology Analyst, Author & Consultant
Compass Solutions, LLC
Cloud Consulting International