2016 Telecommunications Outlook

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What crucial trends are driving the industry? 

Multiple key trends are driving the growth of the telecommunications industry. There’s the global thirst for connectivity, as the world seeks universal internet access and the manifold benefits that flow from that. Addressing that unstoppable desire is the Smartphone, which is a trend – nay, a tectonic shift – all by itself. Another trend surrounding the Smartphone is an app ecosystem, whose massive revenue potential has just begun to be realized. Add to that wireless delivery of television programming and other content, and you can see that we live in exciting times for the telecommunications industry, despite analysts’ fears of a maturing business.

Let’s begin with the Smartphone. Historically, when we talked about telecommunications, we generally were talking about POTS (plain old telephone service), and then cell/mobile phones. These devices wrought amazing changes in the world because they enabled everyone to talk to each other. (And then, for teenagers to not talk to each other as they texted away.) The rise of the telephone networks underpinned much of the growth in the 20th century, because it enabled accelerated national, and then international commerce. Then, the cell phone leapfrogged the need for copper cables and made personal communications affordable and available to almost everyone in the world in just 30 years from its introduction.

The impact of the Smartphone promises to be even greater than its predecessors, because it ties the incredible potential of the Internet to affordability and mobility. It has changed, and will continue to change, life on this planet in massive ways, hopefully mostly for the better.

Of course, we know all this, you say. We’ve all had Smartphones in our pockets for a while now, and yes, we can’t live without them. But isn’t the business maturing, and how is the telecom business going to grow in the future?

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