My Last Contribution to the SP Mobility Community
My career has taken a sudden change for the good, and for the last two months I have been focusing on mastering a totally new set of skills, situation that has left me with almost no time to write contributions for the community. To write for this space has been enriching at so many levels of my life that is with a sense of loss that I write this last entry. I want to thank all the people that read my blog entries and have left comments and questions, all of you helped me to become a little better in something I never thought I could do. From December 2011 to September 2013 I have addressed many aspects of the wireless industry, a field that not only makes my living, but also is my passion and my hobby.
For this last entry I wanted to let go a little bit the restrictions I impose myself on the sources and scope of the content, to envision the wireless industry of the future, ahead 15 to 20 years; for sure, without hard restrictions this landscape is shaped more to my desires and expectations on the field, but it also includes concepts; like current and past industry evolution trends, current emerging technologies and normal service demands from the user, aspects that I have identified over my years of experience working in the industry. So here are nine aspects of the wireless industry of the future:
Image courtesy of Paola Buelvas (email@example.com)
1. The Terminal
As today, several wireless devices will be used, but let’s talk about those which we will carry on at every moment. The multi-tool device or device set integrated with our anthropomorphism may be the norm in the future. Today’s smart glasses and smart watches fuel my expectation for the terminal of the future, my idea is that the user will have two main devices one “hands free” device maybe in the form of glasses and one “handheld” device in the form of a “bracelet”, both used together through Enhanced reality technology will extend the capabilities of the user interface making possible to have an enhanced virtual display without the need of a physical one. Each one also can work independently based on user needs, the bracelet will count with its own display made of flexible materials making it practical to wear and use. The set will be complemented by optional body sensors implanted or mounted on the human skin controlled by one or the two main devices.
2. The Subscription
“Democratization” will be the concept ruling user subscriptions; users consume connectivity (access to service) and services per se, connectivity would be based on the type of service demanded by the user, meaning that one access provider will not always be chosen to deliver all services on that can run on top of the connectivity, for example the user may select one carrier provider for video streaming and another one for VoIP, the selection process will be heavily influenced by QoX (Quality of service or experience) that carrier provider can deliver for specific services, this doesn’t mean that the user will have to switch between providers each time he or she needs to use a service, but it means that the user will be able to, and will have its preference when it comes to each kind of specific service. This will change the user databases structure of the wireless industry and the charging mode. The main idea is to count with a global subscriber database (to ease the roaming service as well), which will be consulted by carrier and service providers (both providers will be needed), each time a subscriber attach to a carrier provider, the service profile of this user will be downloaded from the global database. Services will be added from various service providers depending on user’s needs, like so carrier providers will charge based on time and amount of connectivity demanded and service providers will charge based on agreed service.
3. The Providers
As mentioned above, users will be more obviously seduced by two types of providers than today; those who will let you connect, and those who will provide the final service, I don’t infer that a company cannot provide both (which will be pose a regulation challenge since there’s no way to foresee network neutrality in such scenario), but my intention is to highlight that user will not “belong” to any carrier provider, he/she will be able to choose among the available providers based on many factors, forcing carriers to fiercely compete in terms of presence, quality, options to deploy innovative services, information about mass behaviors of wireless users (Big Data) to construct those innovative services, among others. Service providers will benefit from the fact that their service can be delivered by multiple networks and can foster new business models based on Carrier-Service interactions. Finally taking into account the options available today to construct service from Network capability abstraction platforms, I think that users in the future will become protagonist in the production of new services that other users will subscribe to.
4. The Usage habits
The concept of “Transparence of the service”. The idea behind this concept is that you can transfer your ongoing service or subscription details among your devices on the go, in real time, for example, if the user has a communication session going on his wireless device set, while walking to his car from the office, when entering the car the on-board system set identifies a communication session going and asks the customer if a transference to the on-board system is required, if the customer decides to transfer the session it will resume from the car system, if such session last long enough up to the user final destination, when at home the TV set or the home conference system will execute a similar procedure to ask permission to the customer to transfer the session to a more convenient communication set depending on user situational context. This will require the development of heavy coordination features and architectures covering, Radio Access Types, Networks, Devices and others.
5. The Wireless Access Network
The “Multiple Layers” concept will be pervasive in the wireless access, massive numbers of small cells within small cells, the separation of cells for uplink and downlink will be possible; an optimized control plane will enable to handle the coordination of the multiple layers and modes of the RAN, additionally this coordination will include the interworking with various RAT (Radio Access Technologies, i.e. WiFi) to ensure seamless mobility of the user, capabilities like SON (Self Organizing Networks) and integration of the Cloud concept to the handling of resources (Pool-like) will be common. Specific new applicability scenarios superseding M2M/MTC/D2D will emerge requiring the development of new access technologies, Adhoc mesh networks using vehicles and user devices will be mature adding flexibility and capacity to the RAN, so practical download speeds around 1Gb per user may be realizable. Last but not least, energy efficiency for the access network will become so important that national regulation bodies will consider this aspect as a priority.
6. The Wireless Core Network
The core of the network will function mainly with the objective of provide quality of experience to the user, this means the core must be able to implement, identify, communicate, modify, control, report, provide matching and translation capabilities between different inter domains of the core network, of quality service parameters to realize the service; the core will also include context inference platforms that will aggregate real time environment and social sensor information to identify the situational context of the user to provide the right type of quality and services under the specific usage contexts. Virtualization and Cloud concepts will also become common for core network structures, another concept that will grow into the future will be the production (and maybe commercialization) of Big Data models information taking advantage of the data aggregation platforms receiving information from all the sensors and MTC that will be functioning in the network. Finally the network will have very mature Self-service composition engines, based on the concept of today network abstraction layers; these engines will give the user the power to create services from other services and network capabilities without the need of deep technical knowledge of telecom networks or software developing skills.
7. The security
Security breaches will grow exponentially accompanying the growth of the wireless industry, new business models will emerge founded in the premise of provide security not only at corporate level but at an individual user level as well, the wireless user will be 5 to 10 times more exposed than today to digital threats due to the proliferation of devices, new usage habits, multiple network connection options and many other aspects. Many security regulations and guidelines will be produced, but such dispositions will also be quickly outdated and overruled by the cyber criminals. Unfortunately I don´t see a brighter panorama for this topic.
8. The Spectrum
The infamous scarce resource. New chunks of spectrum will be included to the mobile broadband usable resource both for the upper and lower extremes, techniques of spectrum exploitation like shared spectrum, secondary usage through dynamic cognitive radio and probably new techniques will be common and will be implemented in several markets, at the same time the line that divides unlicensed and licensed spectrum for the cellular service provider will fade to become a common pool. Global harmonization process will be well ahead in the majority of big markets. And yes… it will continue to be referred as a scarce resource.
9. The Regulation bodies
As commented above and to summarize, the national regulation bodies’ main items in their agenda will be: Network power efficiency, Network neutrality, Harmonization of the spectrum resources, protection of the user against cybercrime, and regulation of electromagnetic emissions and the human health.
So there you have it, my final blog post for the community about my vision of the future wireless industry.
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For all blog posts written by Jorge Guzman Olaya, please visit his Community Profile
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