7 Wireless Industry Trends To Watch For In 2016
2016 is clearly going to be a year of heightened connectivity, one which will see wireless technology uniting every facet of modern life via the Internet of Things. Here are a few of the trends we can expect to see continue and gain momentum.
- Internet of Things
Interconnection will start to really come to fruition this year. Remote intelligence provided by sensors in appliances, houses, airplanes, smartphones, and autos, delivered via wifi and other networks will bring a new level of convenience, cost savings and safety.
- Mobile Payments
We can look to see widespread adoption of mobile payments as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay start to catch on. The move to it has been slow but as more and more of the population rely and do everything, including conduct business, on the smartphone, it will become more readily accepted. It often takes the younger generation to bring change, and once the Millennials get hooked, it will take off.
- Mobile Verification
Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and Twitter have begun instituting mobile verification and it will be adopted almost across the board as it is both easier and more secure than the old username/password mode of account activation and login.
Sending a one-time password code to a user via SMS or voice provides the best security. Only the owner of that phone number gets access to the password and is able to log in to the application and verify their identity with a PIN code. And the code can expire within a few minutes for added security, preventing hackers from collecting old PINs and using them for fraud.
- Sensors & Wearable Tech
Another example of the IoT, the use of sensors to track and monitor everything from heartbeat to cadence, and deliver that data for analysis via smartphone. In addition to greater adoption of smartwatches like the Apple Watch and activity trackers like the FItbit, look for in-ear wireless earbuds which will facilitate hands-free calling, music streaming and audio notifications, to become all the rage. Sensors will be key in 2016. Fingerprint sensors will be available in both budget and premium smartphones in 2016.
- WiFi Calling
With advances in wifi calling quality, wireless carriers will be able to improve coverage with seamless transition between wifi and cellular networks and free up and re-utilize old 2G and 3G voice spectrum at the same time.
- Budget Smartphones
With the demise of phone subsidies and the two-year contract, budget smartphones will start to make more sense as customers pay for data and devices separately. With expensive phones no longer subsidized, consumers may balk at paying full prices and opt for cheaper alternatives that are available running Android.
- 5G Development
Chipmakers, network equipment manufacturers and the major wireless carriers are developing 5G network technology. 5G will supposedly be up to 40 times faster than the current 4G tech, and hopefully enough to stream 8K video in a few seconds.
Super-high frequencies for faster data speeds will be required to broadcast the signal, but those frequencies travel very short distances and right now will require thousands of mini cell towers to bridge the gaps.
According to Bill Smith, president of AT&T’s network operations, 5G will likely be defined in 2018, with standards set in 2019. So while we won’t see 5G trending at all in 2016, it’s something we can look forward to on the approach to the end of the decade.
Whether it’s mobile payments, budget smartphones, accessories, or wearable tech, carriers and their dealers can rely on B2B Soft and Wireless Standard to help connect them with the latest industry trends and deliver integrated solutions that meet the challenges they pose, for maximum profitability.