The telecoms landscape will undergo significant change during 2011 as cloud platforms grow in prominence, Windows Phone 7 starts to make its presence felt and new data business models and tariffs are introduced.
These are just some of the key issues analyst firm Ovum believes will dominate the telecoms market in the months ahead as outlined in the firm's Telecoms In 2011 report.
Ovum analyst Tony Cripps said that Windows Phone 7 will be the fastest-growing platform in 2011 owing to its "unique and very desirable take on the smartphone user interface".
"Microsoft is finally managing to harness the evident design and user experience nous of its Xbox, Zune and Windows Live teams to create a proposition that is more than the sum of its parts," he said.
"With Microsoft's loyal developer base now having a new target, we can expect Microsoft to increase its portion of mobile developer mindshare in 2011."
Cripps added that this shift will also help Android, predicting that the Google operating system will swamp Apple's developer base to become the most popular platform for developers, all of which will further harm Nokia in the smartphone market.
Another key trend highlighted in the Ovum report concerns the way operators handle the rising demand for data on mobile devices.
"We will also be watching closely for the arrival of innovative new approaches to data service charging, such as quality-of-service pricing or 'data buckets' for use across multiple devices," said Ovum analyst Stephen Hartley.
The regulatory environment will remain at the forefront of telecoms issues, and Ovum analyst Matthew Howett noted that the use of spectrum for mobile broadband will remain a central agenda throughout the year.
"How regulators make spectrum available, in particular the digital dividend and the 2.6GHz bands, will be very important since these bands are most likely to be jointly used for mobile broadband," he said.
The cloud is also expected to grow in prominence. Ovum analyst Evan Kirchheimer said that the use of cloud services will evolve from an early adopter model to early mainstream use, which will affect telecoms service offerings.
"We expect the cloud to have an impact on key emerging telco services such as unified collaboration, software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service," he said.
"Companies and telcos will also begin to address the issue of federation. We expect a number of federated solutions to emerge in 2011, with intra-company presence being the building block for future federated services."
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