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4G applications set to evolve in a mutiplatform environment

06 июля 2009

According to new research from Maravedis, key growth drivers in the 4G applications market include an increasingly open network environment and snackable data plans applicable across various device types.

The report - Broadband Services and Applications in the 4G Era: Beyond Existing 3G Applications - says that the evolution from 3G to 4G will be stimulated by services offering enhanced quality, requiring increased bandwidth, elevated sophistication of large-scale information provision, and improved customization capabilities to support user demands. Further, many 4G applications are set to evolve in a multiplatform environment: "4G applications will be available seamlessly across various wireless technologies (LTE, Wi-Fi, UWB, WiMAX, etc.) and device types (cell phones, laptops, e-readers, PNDs, digital cameras, printers, tablet PCs, etc.) with the same QoS anytime, anywhere," noted Adlane Fellah, Senior Analyst.

"While it is still unclear which types of mobile applications and services, pricing and business models will be used by carriers on their upcoming 4G networks, we are unlikely to see a revolution in the 4G space. Applications are likely to be extended and improved versions of existing 3G services," noted Julien Blin, report co-author and Senior Analyst.

"Next generation applications such as wireless VoIP, e-readers apps, mobile IPTV, telematics, M2M apps (e.g. smart grids), and location-aware mobile apps/services embedded with social networking and user-generated content capabilities are likely to become key applications in the upcoming 4G apps space," added Fellah.

According to the report, the 4G industry is likely to see new killer devices in the line of the iPhone 3G S, Palm Pre, G1/G2 phones, and the Storm, in the 4G space, which will help drive adoption of 4G applications and services.

The report also says that mobile app stores are set to become a key distribution channel for upcoming 4G applications. Ultimately, they could end up being a godsend for many carriers at a time when disruptive applications like Skype are threatening carriers' voice ARPUs,  although solving cross-mobile app store interoperability issues and content discovery issues will be critical, says the report. Adding peer-to-peer recommendations, location awareness, and enhanced mobile search engines to existing mobile app stores should play a key role here.

Several issues will need to be overcome before the future 4G apps market reaches its full potential, says Maravedis. These include handset limitation, the poor user experience on many feature phones, the need for sustainable and profitable 4G business and pricing models, mobile discovery issues, privacy and security issues, increased fragmentation, and the lack of standards. Other issues include the low penetration and high cost of data plans and services, and the lack of awareness when it comes to certain mobile data services.

Источник: European Communications

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