Here is a motley collection of news from 2010 that have good potential to affect 2011
Mobile Money related regulations:
What an year 2010 has been on this front!! Mobile Banking, Mobile Trading, Prepaid Instruments, Mobile Linked No Frills Accounts, UID and what not. In my guess, this will be the most important thing for 2011. Get yourself ready, both as a customer and as an application developer/ solution provider.
4G & RIL:
While there is a lot of hype around 3G, the big brother (literally!) is cooking plans to serve 4G with his BWA spectrum. See him in action in 2011
While just a few tablets released in 2010, we may see a lot more in 2011 and in fact, a lot of tablet usage in enterprises. School Teachers/ Medical Representatives/ Insurance Agents etc etc. And this is closely related to above – Big Brother’s plans.
Android on low end phones:
The game has just begun with Micromax. Next year, we should be seeing an avalanche. But do not rejoice. Most of those users would not download apps. By the way, who do you think would head the local vendors next year? In 2008, it was Spice. In 2009, Micromax and in 2010, it has been G-Five (not really local, a Chinese vendor). Who in 2011? And how low will the market share of the biggies go? Or are they set for a revival, helped by the Government’s intervention with SAR & other radiation related regulations?
Nokia launched/expanded its services. Lifetools got the support of more operators, Tej started appearing in ads and in news about partnership with Sify, the CRM service for SMEs with Intuit and of course Music/Apps through Ovi. It is a pity that there is no operator billing for the Ovi Store. I strongly feel one of the parties will budge and there will be operator billing in 2011. Let us hope Nokia wins the negotiations
GPRS Penetration, Pay-per-site etc:
GPRS penetration really “took off” in 2010. From about 10m subscribers, the estimate is about 50m now, thanks to the no-rental GPRS plans. That IS SIGNIFICANT growth. But the future does not look rosy. Pay-per-site plans, Airtel’s plan to increase the charges etc do not give much confidence. Hope usage does not fall in 2011. Are you thinking of 3G? Sorry, it will not reach mainstream in 2011.
Future Group launched its T24 service and is set to make it pan-India in 2011. I expect a lot of us to have their connection, as our 4th SIM.
Chinese infra vendors got into trouble. So did RIM. 3G Video calls are banned temporarily. No SMS during Ayodhya verdict. Prepaid bans in J&K. Our Government was really busy in 2010, we should say. We can expect Skype kind of people to run into trouble in 2011.
The bleeding that began in 2009 thanks to Docomo kind of ended and operators are back to making minimal profits. Airtel expanded to Africa & Bangladesh, apart from Srilanka. And got some rebranding done. Voda was in news for a Rs 700 phone that I think sank without trace and then for tax related cases, that is all. RCom seemed to be in financial trouble. Several other operators were in lots of trouble around scams that you can read about elsewhere.
Several popular tech blogs launched their ‘gadget sites’ – a sign of the growth of smartphones, tablets & other gadgets.
App Store launches:
Airtel, Aircel, Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, Reliance, Vodafone, MTS, Idea etc etc etc launched/expanded their App Stores. Android marketplace got paid apps for India. Will we get carrier billing in 2011? Further, Quite a few “Indic” apps made news. Newshunt even went for a FM Radio Ad. And yeah, Aircel TV ad showed them and a lot more. Indian Apps “arrived” in 2010. Will they explode to a lot more, in 2011 or will our companies be content in being custom app development shops? Will “Enterprise App” become serious news in 2011?
Product Managers & UX Engineers:
A lot of noise was made about these professions, in 2010. As companies mature and become real ‘product cos’, these professions might be in demand in 2011.
Mobile marketing (aka spam SMS) regulations:
The deadline has been pushed to Feb 1 so it is technically next year’s news. Anyways, companies like MyToday have raised genuine concerns. Hope they get addressed.
Need I say more. You can read enough out there! Just search for it and any blog worth its hosting fees would have pages & pages written about it
Oops, I said something that has potential to affect 2011, right? Take it from me, this will NOT affect
This is by no means exhaustive / accurate. I am writing the top of the mind items without any ‘reference’ – hence the lack of appropriate links
If I have missed any or if there is a factual error, accept my apologies & please do leave a comment.
Wish you a wonderful 2011