IDC's Top 10 Predictions for the Telecommunications Market in APEJ for 2007
- Increase in Layer 2 Ethernet Services
Telecommunication service providers in APEJ have been active in rolling out optical Fiber-based metro Ethernet services in most major cities across the region for the past few years. While these services were previously confined to mature markets such as Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore, they are now available in most major cities from Bombay in the west to Jakarta in the east. IDC expects most, if not all, major carriers in APEJ to start offering point-to-point metro Ethernet services in 2007 and that the service will gain considerable traction in the market by the end of the year.
- Services get caught in the Wireless Mesh
After much hype, 2007 will be the year where wireless mesh services will emerge in Asia. IDC believes this will occur because of its potential for large-scale wireless deployments, strong support from governments and the availability of blueprints from visible mesh deployments in North America, and to a lesser extent in Europe.
- Building the WiMAX highway for Greater Connectivity
IDC believes that many larger WiMAX vendors will offer advanced antenna solutions in 2007 to achieve greater spectral efficiencies compared to alternative wireless technologies. The combination of IP-friendly interfaces, VoIP streaming, cost performance advantages, and the scalability of mobile WiMAX has already encouraged multiple trial deployments in the region. Going forward, IDC expects that ultimately mobile WiMAX will become the mainstay of licensed BWA across APEJ in the long-term.
- Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) enables mass-market consumer mobility
The move to consumer FMC is occurring in the APEJ region, with multiple operators looking at strategies to leverage its development. After several years of discussion, technologies and products relating to FMC have progressed to the stage where initial deployments, either on a trial or commercial basis, are likely to be offered in 2007. This shift to FMC is going to trigger restructuring and changes in the business models as well as network infrastructure of carriers. While FMC will threaten some legacy services, it will also create new opportunities for fixed and mobile carriers to compete in each other's space.
- IM evolves as the next collaborative tool in mobile business communication
The business world is increasingly focused on collaboration, which is challenging given the need to coordinate among coworkers who may be spread across different cities or even continents. Mobile IM provides a superior messaging alternative for fast and cost-effective communication, particularly when the workforce is dispersed in remote locations, where workers may not have access to their corporate intranet over LAN. IDC expects prosumers or professional consumers to drive enterprises to deploy IM solutions initially and IM will progressively evolve from being a standalone product to a communication product that is well integrated with other business applications.
- Application-aware networking will grow in the enterprise
Application-aware networking is defined as solutions that make intelligent routing, security, and delivery decisions regarding network traffic. A key priority among these products is the need to provide a secure and reliable architecture for enterprise applications, Web applications, or applications that run over TCP/IP. Traditionally, whenever latency issues arose over the WAN, the immediate solution among enterprises was to purchase more bandwidth, increasing the capacity of its pipe. However, the market has realized that increasing bandwidth alone may not necessarily solve latency issues experienced in a WAN. Application-aware networking can be used to alleviate this issue. 2007 will be an significant year for application-aware networking as most vendors have settled down after the acquisition frenzy and have formulated aggressive strategies to acquire new customers.
- Network Equipment Providers refine tradition channel distribution model by going direct
Traditionally, network equipment providers (NEPs) have built up and utilized an ecosystem of channel partners to distribute their products to enterprises. While this model has served remarkably well in the past, IDC believes that it will evolve in 2007. While differentiation and innovation continue to be key and indispensable in staying ahead of the game, NEPs are looking into expanding their service offerings as a means of distinguishing themselves from competitors. IDC predicts that direct sales, especially for larger or tier 1 accounts, will become strategically more important for NEPs.
- Mobile TV to become a reality in key markets in the region
While mobile TV service has been available in APEJ since 2005, service providers in the region have shown mixed interest in the service, although this may change soon. As ARPUs continue to drop throughout the region, service providers are searching for new revenue streams and many believe they will find it in mobile TV. In 2007, IDC believes that many service providers will trial and commercially launch the service in the more developed markets of APEJ.
- Peer to peer services threatens growth and development of IPTV
In the APEJ region, multiple service providers have placed an increasing emphasis on the potential of IPTV. In 2007, activity surrounding IPTV is set to remain strong, both among service providers and among the vendor community. However, the emergence of P2P services that re-broadcast signals from cable or IPTV networks over the Internet needs attention. These P2P services presently originate mainly from China, with increasing usage in the region . Starting in 2007, IPTV operators in APEJ and around the world will need to closely watch the development of these services in a bid to mitigate this threat.
- Web 2.0 presents new opportunities and new challenges
The APEJ region has some of the most advanced, and connected, telecommunications populations in the world. While developments in FMC continue, other applications and solutions are being developed to provide a richer experience to end-users. Among these, applications associated with Web 2.0 are gaining traction in the region. Web 2.0 generally refers to new applications and processes of using the Internet to increase collaboration and interaction among end-users via the Web platform. IDC expects 2007 to be a year when their popularity will push service providers to develop strategies to harness the development, both within the enterprise and among consumers.