Welcome to 2014!  Before I embark on my 7th consecutive year of mobile industry predictions, let’s wrap up 2013 with a review of last year’s predictions.  Overall, it has been another exciting, challenging, but overall profitable year for the mobile industry.  We saw some rises and falls, new iPads, a new iPhone, new Samsung devices, new mobile OS’s, consolidations, acquisitions, as well as a myriad of new products and innovations.

Once again, we all watched the live-blogs as Apple announced the iPhone 5c and 5s.  While I’m sure many of the blogs and technical as well as mainstream news organizations will put the new iPhones at front and center and debate every new feature as well as those missing, I would like to focus, once again on the mobile network support for these new iPhones.  Both the iPhone 5c and 5s models will support the same LTE frequency bands; however, these are divided among the different models.

With today’s launch of the Blackberry Z10 in the United States, Blackberry is moving to reestablish itself in the highly competitive smartphone arena.  By all accounts, this is an exceptional device and one that, as many had predicted, supports various LTE bands.  In the last few months there have been a number of new smartphones both announced and released into the marketplace – virtually all of them are LTE capable.   But are the LTE bands they are supporting making them compatible with networks beyond their core or “home” markets? 

You can’t deny that this industry is evolving and changing – almost on a daily basis.   From new apps to new devices and new networks as well as increasingly social networks, we should expect increased competition, as well as increasingly disruptive technologies to permeate the industry.   In the coming days, SAP Mobile Services will be offering a new guide for the modern service provider — one that will outline the opportunities and detail many solutions that exist in this exciting and diverse market.  

Plumbing may seem like a strange word in a telecoms focused blog – especially one that highlights Long Term Evolution or LTE.  Still, that’s what it is.  Plumbing moves something from one place to another – typically through pipes.  In the plumbing that we all rely on, water or gas is moved to faucets, heaters, cooktops and other other appliances.  In the mobile telecom world, we have new and shiny LTE networks being deployed around the world.  To move all of that data between these high speed network island, we need plumbing – and that plumbing is called an IPX.   Peter Bernstein put it this way in his article: LTE and Roaming – Sybase 365 Leading the Charge: “Let’s face it, plumbing is not sexy.”

Sybase 365 recently released the results of our Global Operator Survey, covering the IP Exchange (IPX) technology.  Three hundred fifty-three operators were surveyed online, with an additional eleven one-on-one interviews.    This resulted in a very interesting cache of data from a variety of operators and service providers, worldwide.  I intend to publish a number of blog entries, based on the results of our survey.  This one is the first.