The 2020 network: How our communications infrastructure will evolve

Ahead of our Mobilize event Oct. 16 and 17, we asked experts how 50 billion connected devices and 6 billion people change their industries. In this essay, Ericsson’s Vish Nandlall describes the transformation of the mobile network.


Craig Foster

Craig Foster is an Analyst for Gigaom Research and the co-founder of Valour Consultancy, a U.K. based provider of market intelligence relating…

By 2016, 70M families will keep tabs on each other with GPS

Family member locator apps will grow into a big business as tracking services gravitate from specialized devices to the smartphone, according to Berg Insight. Sixteen million people use a GPS or cellular tracking service today, but smartphones will drive that number to 70 million in 2016.

How’s this for cool? T-Mobile is connecting ice machines

T-Mobile will soon have nearly 1 million new wireless connections on its network, but they won’t be smartphones. T-Mobile is linking its 2G network to hundreds of thousands of ice machines – that’s right, those refrigerated boxes outside of grocery stores and gas stations containing bagged ice.

Meet the top 20 mobile operators

There are more than 5 billion mobile subscribers in the world, and new growth is coming from Asia and Latin America, according to data out on Thursday from Wireless Intelligence, which ranked the top 20 mobile operators by subscribers. U.S. carriers are way down the list.

Cellular devices to hit 24 billion by 2020

The number of total wireless connected devices is expected to more than double from 9 billion today to more than 24 billion in 2020, according to the GSMA. That growth will be paced by connected devices which are expected to double to 12 billion by 2020.

The Internet of Things isn’t a profit center … yet.

Tablets and e-readers and connected electric meters … oh my! As device makers embed broadband into more gadgets, and consumer demand for ubiquitous broadband skyrockets, operators are realizing they aren’t in Kansas anymore and traditional financial metrics and ways of running their businesses won’t cut it.

AT&T links with smart grid player Digi

The undercover smart grid player Digi International is about to get a lot less undercover. On Wednesday, telco giant AT&T said it has partnered with Digi to offer home and building energy applications for the 13 million smart meters that connect to AT&T’s wireless network.

Mobile Subs Keep on Trucking With Record Growth

The world the added 196 million mobile subscribers during the fourth quarter of last year, a record amount. The growth is positive for operators, but they are already looking ahead to ensure that when everyone has a cell phone their sales keep trending up.

At $25 Per MB, No Wonder Carriers Love M2M

Connected tablets will certainly show off the capabilities of the 4G deployed by operators, but the big profits will come from elsewhere. For example? Your medicine cabinet, where a new bill bottle cap sends 20 kilobytes of data per day while costing $15 per month.

M2M Networks Are Ready to Monitor You (and Make Millions)

Sprint is adding another M2M, or machine to machine, device on its 3G network: the BodyMedia armband will capture workout data and shoot it to the cloud. This new “Internet of Things” approach for devices is expected to generate nearly 300 million data subscriptions by 2015.

Mobile Operators’ Strategies for Connected Devices

Major carriers must overcome the ceiling under which they now find themselves and the growth of their businesses. Solutions lie not in voice-centric mobile devices, but with new non-phone, data-consuming devices like tablets, e-readers and machine-to-machine technology like digital picture frames, personal navigation devices and more.

The Internet of Things: Anywhere, Anytime, Anything

The underpinnings are already being laid for an Internet of things that will bring connectivity to everything from consumer electronics to pets. But a wide variety of challenges from privacy to platforms, must be met as we move toward an always-on, always-connected society.

The Pending Obsolescence of Handset Penetration Rates

Mobile penetration in the U.S. is nearing 100 percent, leading some to wonder whether we’re near a saturation point. But as connectivity expands to a wide range of devices that aren’t phones, “handset penetration” won’t really matter anyway.


M2M Is Taking Off From Kindle to Smart Grid

Machine-to-machine services are a promising opportunity for carriers. The segment promises to boost revenues with minimal network taxation by delivering lightweight data transmissions to everything from e-readers like the Kindle to railroad cars and home appliances. For software developers and hardware manufacturers, then, the question is how to tap the new market for connected devices. How do you add connectivity to existing products, or create entirely new intelligent devices, and what kind of business model should you employ?

The Opportunity and Challenges of M2M

Operators are increasingly looking to machine-to-machine services to help offset a saturated handset market and data congestion on their networks. But the new world of M2M will require the emergence of new partnerships and business models.

AT&T & Verizon's Future Is in Your Fridge

Carriers’ data revenue hit $12.5 billion in the first quarter of 2010. However, they face two challenges: a saturated market and users who are boosting their consumption of data faster than carriers are boosting their data revenue. The Internet of things will help.


Cool, Calm and Connected: 3 Design Principles for Connected Objects

Last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured a flood of new connected devices catering to needs as diverse as entertainment, personal security, home energy efficiency and biometric monitoring. Each of these devices is intended to improve its owner’s quality of life — but it’s easy to imagine being surrounded by a cloud of these “helpful” personal devices, all simultaneously sounding their alarms, experiencing chaos instead of calm. We can find ways to streamline how connected objects communicate and cooperate, how they connect and stay connected to the cloud, and how they use the capabilities of the cloud to create the maximum benefit for the user. Here are a few considerations that designers working on the next generation of connected objects should ponder, to be sure that their devices create calm and not chaos.

Why Carriers Should Care About Customer Care

As Google is learning the hard way, customer care is a crucial component the mobile world. And its importance will increase as connectivity extends to a wide range of devices and applications. That presents a key opportunity for carriers to bring added value to the table.

The Home Is at the Heart of 4G M2M

AT&T and Verizon Wireless are using the CES stage to tout M2M services such as wireless health care and connected entertainment systems. And the home will be a key focal point for such businesses as 4G networks come online.

AT&T Buys Spectrum and Plans Leap to LTE

Seems AT&T (s t) is learning from its mistakes. The nation’s No. 2 carrier has picked up 24 licenses covering wireless spectrum…