The Future of Enterprise Mobility: Seven Predictions

In 2008, businesses can expect to see the opening of cellular networks, the start of global radio frequency (RF) technology convergence and a growing mobile security threat, as well as more dropped cellular phone calls and poorer call quality, among other trends.

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Fri, December 21, 2007

CIO — One key word in the wireless space in 2008—and the coming few years—will be open. Open networks. Open platforms. Open devices. All of which will have far-reaching implications on businesses, their IT departments and the employees they support.

What follows is a list of future enterprise mobility trends from wireless consultant Jorge Fuenzalida of inCode, research firm Osterman Research and technology analysis company Current Analysis.

The Opening of the U.S. Wireless Industry Will Mean Faster Data Speeds, More Bandwidth and New Levels of Service for Enterprises

The main motivation behind U.S. carriers' decisions to open up future networks is to better cater to the consumer masses, but enterprises stand to benefit, as well.

Business users will eventually see speedier data transfer and increased bandwidth for new, innovative business-oriented services that carriers will offer, as well as services from other developers, according to Current Analysis.

Enhancements to such networks will also eventually lead to more reliable wireless access to corporate systems, interactive databases and Web-based apps from a variety of devices. As AT&T rolls out its next-generation high-speed packet access (HSPA) network and Sprint launches its XOHM WiMax network, both consumers and business users will over time see an increase in mobile video and converged services, such as multimedia videoconferencing, Current Analysis says.

Open network access and growing competition in the chipset market will lead mobile device manufacturers to circumvent relationships with carriers in order to build strong connections with end users and businesses over the coming years, says Fuenzalida, inCode vice president of communications consulting. (InCode is a division of IT infrastructure provider VeriSign.)

That means that carriers will need to offer new levels of services and innovative offerings to differentiate themselves from competitors. Enterprises will be able to choose the carriers and levels of service best suited to their needs, and in some cases, they'll be able to purchase priority access. VoIP and other such applications will eventually become more reliable on higher-tier service plans--though the price for such service will likely be costly. Organizations could also select varying levels of service for different staffers who may need more features or who aren't as worried about reliability, according to inCode. Carriers will also be able to offer prices for service that are closer to what it actually costs them to place calls or transfer data so users are not just charged a flat rate, as is the case today.

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