As the popularity, affordability and sophistication of wearables grows, the portion of mobile health traffic will increase rapidly.
In 2015, mobile networks will be the key conduits, and possibly brokers for a constant and consistent pulse of mobile health data traffic – be it for tracking personal fitness goals, aggregating fitness app traffic to discover fitness hotspots and usage patterns, proactive patient health monitoring or installing "granny cams".
Along with this, mobile networks will become critical information highways for more than just personal health tracking to help healthcare workers deal with emergency situations or health hazards globally. Specifically, mobile health apps that can capture personal health information, and deliver interactive video will be able to help communities address communities in need, bringing education, communication and expertise to those who need it most.
On Christmas Day 2014, the majority of retailers' website traffic will originate from mobile and tablet devices, as people try out new Christmas presents & browse for add-ons to their gifts. John Lewis reported that more than 3/4 of its web traffic on Christmas Day 2013 came from mobile devices. This year it is predicted that as people receive new mobiles and tablets and Christmas presents they will use these to access retail websites.
Operators will become a platform for OTTs with creative business arrangements that will promote both OTT and MNO. We are seeing more significant partnerships where the operator becomes a platform for the OTT.
In Germany, WhatsApp has an MVNO–type arrangement with E-Plus where they offer an E-Plus WhatsApp SIM card; in this case, WhatsApp is the primary mode of communication bundling of E Plus voice and internet access under the E Plus brand. In this model, WhatsApp is not rebranding the voice and Internet access services, but rather keeping them under the E-Plus brand umbrella.
In 2015, we predict that
- The WhatsApp – E Plus type of arrangement will be replicated with other MNOs by WhatsApp, Facebook and other OTTs
- Quasi-MVNO models will grow to full MVNO models where OTTs will promote their own OTT app and branding as their own the MNO's voice and internet access services
- OTTs will begin to market their own smartphones as part of their MVNO strategy.
In 2015, Mobile Network Operators will be able to leverage their existing messaging and voice infrastructure to support WebRTC services.
WebRTC proponents, which broadly speaking come at communications from an Internet perspective, view WebRTC as a game changer. The ability to carry out real-time communications without the need for a plug-in promises a future of innovative browser-based communications solutions. Citrix predicts:
With 13% of web video calls through WebRTC, WebRTC will gain adoption by mainstream users in late 2015.
WebRTC for voice will likely extend beyond early adopters to add mainstream users. This will be driven by applications from operators that leverage WebRTC for existing voice and messaging systems.
With more mainstream usage of WebRTC, large enterprises will begin to develop WebRTC-based tools especially for touch points with customers such as in contact/call centers.