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Focus on data efficiency to benefit BlackBerry in 2011

14 декабря 2010

Operators will take measures to promote smartphones that place less of a strain on their networks in 2011, a move that could benefit BlackBerry maker RIM, according to analyst firm CCS Insight.

"We predict that in 2011 operators will begin to differentiate their tariffs and device subsidies to prompt users to consider less data-hungry devices and operating systems," the company said as part of its predictions for the industry in the coming year.

"Operators will pay subsidies based on the data efficiency of a software platform, favouring BlackBerry over iOS and Android," CCS noted, adding that operators have been complaining that some devices use considerably more data than others for many years. Essentially, the company believes that the more strain a mobile device places on the network, the lower the subsidy it will get from operators.

The prediction follows research published last week by network management specialist Arieso that detailed how new smartphone models, particularly Android handsets, generate considerably more data traffic than BlackBerrys and Nokia devices.

Meanwhile CCS Insight also predicts that huge growth in video-based services will have a "wrecking ball" effect on mobile network capacity going forward.

"Growing consumer awareness of video services on mobile devices will quickly establish an audience that prefers to watch clips rather than read text on a mobile screen," the company said.

"Operators will have to take drastic action and adjust tariffs to temper this behaviour. They will also rely more on subscription services that attract a premium for content, such as live sport. This will provoke fierce debate about operators' obligation to take a neutral approach to content delivery," the company forecasts.

Data growth in general will also trigger changes in pricing, with unlimited packages and volume-based models becoming unsustainable as networks are overwhelmed by data traffic.

In an effort to move the focus away from volume alone, operators will use speed and quality as differentiators in the next three years. They will introduce tariffs that offer tiered service levels tied to an allocated volume of data," CCS said.

However, while data growth is set to continue, CCS does not name tablet devices among the main culprits.

In fact, the firm predicts that in 2011 WiFi-only tablets will outsell those with cellular capabilities, with changes to data tariffs denting sales of mobile-capable devices. It forecasts the sale of 4 million-plus WiFi-only tablets through electronics retail channels in the U.S. from mid-2011 to mid-2012.

CCS Insight is bearish on tablets in general, predicting that tablet sales – excluding the iPad – will fail to live up to expectations.

All the leading device manufacturers will make tablets, leading to overstocking and inventory problems, CCS believes.

"A period of discounting will see margins slip to zero to clear channel excesses," the company predicts. "Low-cost Android tablets will irrevocably damage consumer perceptions and dent the market's potential."

Источник: Total Telecom

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