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Mobile video calling to take off in 2011

29 ноября 2010

Mobile video calling will finally take off in 2011, predicted consultancy firm Northstream on Friday, driven by the uptake of video-call-enabled devices and lower data prices.

As part of its wide range of predictions for the mobile industry in 2011, the Sweden-based company said that despite its inauspicious start, an attractive market for video calling potentially exists.

"Although mobile video services were launched approximately 10 years ago, a hopeless user interface on handsets at the time, coupled with high prices and inadequate network bandwidth meant they were set up to fail," said Northstream, in a statement. "Today, that has changed."

Northstream noted that the number of video-call-enabled Apple devices alone is set to top 100 million over the next 12 months, while companies like fring and Tango already offer video-calling smartphone applications. On the fixed side, network giant Cisco has already begun selling its expensive consumer video conferencing solution via retail partner Best Buy.

"As the call is made either through WiFi or your unlimited rate data plan, there is no cost threshold hampering usage," said Northstream, which highlighted that the next wave of iPads and other tablets will further enhance the mobile video calling experience.

"Apple and its peers are about to achieve in one year what 3G operators have failed to do in 10," predicted Northstream. "2011 is the year that mobile video calling finally takes off."

Meanwhile the consultancy also expects that despite strong growth in the number of commercial LTE deployments, spectrum fragmentation will make it harder for device and component makers to roll out mass market products in 2011.

"A vast majority of global operators will continue to sweat existing HSPA networks in 2011 while the LTE marketing machine rumbles on," said Northstream.

"LTE requires additional spectrum and the technology-neutral bands currently on offer are leading to widespread fragmentation, frustrating chipset and device providers," said the company.

Northstream said the launch of LTE in larger markets next year including Germany and the U.S. will help drive the development of LTE-compatible devices, although smaller markets "may lose out near term".

"Widespread LTE-enabled smartphones will be available beyond 2011, when there will be sufficient choice to interest mobile consumers and a proven LTE voice solution will have been found," said Northstream.


Источник: Total Telecom

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