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Mobile trends in 2017

1 April 2017
man and smartphone

2017 is going to be a fascinating year in the field of mobile technology- quick networks, additional free data and innovative UX design. Hereby are some forecasts for 2017:

  • Unlimited video streaming services: due to Trump winning the elections, we can expect to see more unlimited surfing services. The new service provided by AT&T, DirecTV Now, is only one example- video streaming to company customers in an unlimited capacity (regardless of their internet package). T-Mobile provides BingeOn, which is a different format since it also includes unlimited access to external video services such as Netflix and YouTube. Comcast is expected to launch a television streaming service next year which will be publicly available via the internet. While customers are glad to use streaming 'for free', critics warn that these activities might lead to a lack of competition (if you're content with DirecTV Now, why try another service?) which in turn might lead to higher prices for consumers for less innovative services.

  • UX design in 2017: User Experience is a major driving force in the field of mobile. Nowadays, brands must focus on providing attractive visual applications. In 2017 we can expect more creative design elements such as opening screens, new graphics and designing micro-interactions. The best UX design must be merged with technology that generates a 'smooth', intuitive and enjoyable user experience. Many brands, therefore, require customized design services and consult UX experts in order to create a unique look for their applications.

  • G5 networks are close, yet still not applicable: Speaking of G5, 2017 will be a year of ‘trials’ regarding this technology. AT&T and Verizon have already initiated trials for their G5 networks for 2017, and Sprint and T-Mobile are preparing for testing this technology as well. AT&T already has a client for network trials: Intel in Austin, TX. But before you get all excited, it's important to realize that AT&T and Verizon's plans are to spread the new network at first as a cordless substitute for domestic broadband before branching to mobile devices.

  • Video quality control: how many of us can recognize if the video we are watching on a mobile device is of HD or DVD quality? We probably won't have to since T-Mobile and Sprint have already lowered video quality in order to retain data transfer rate and AT&T are expected to do the same next year. All formats are currently optional, yet as soon as the network neutrality threat is removed, video regulation will become the norm. The positive outcome is a more efficient use of the network that may assist consumers in receiving a better deal for a data package. Low quality video is what enables companies such as T-Mobile and Sprint to offer these unlimited data packages. For mobile clients with a limited data capacity, this can ensure enough data for binge watching an entire season of Game of Thrones.

  • Data Security and privacy: many consumers have expressed their concerns for their privacy yet do not always act on these concerns. A research conducted in the US shows that at least 30% access the internet via public Wi-Fi at least once a week, though a mere 4.8% view public Wi-Fi as "very safe". This doesn't mean that Americans are careless towards their privacy on the internet: a recent McKenzie survey shows that Americans are more sensitive towards sharing data compared to Chinese or Germans. Users were willing to share personal data if deemed profitable. The main conclusion is that as long as all users are somehow granted some benefit (access to Wi-Fi, an efficient application, customized messages, etc.) they will be willing to share their personal data.

  • The initial Wi-Fi network that will take the mainstream by storm: This project, similarly to Google's mobile project, can be more central in 2017 due to Comcast's initial Wi-Fi. These networks use a combination of cellular coverage for local Wi-Fi networks in order to provide cheap connectivity to mobile internet. When the Wi-Fi is unavailable, they use wireless networks in order to provide service. The wireless internet project has added support for more devices in 2015 which have assisted in increasing the potential target audience for these services. Users will show greater interest when in 2017 Comcast merges with 15 million Verizon G4 network hotspots. The great question is how Comcast will price their new services: will this service be enticing enough to give up traditional cellular service?

  • The optic fiber is still at large: Google's proclamation in 2017 that the distribution of their optic fiber has been postponed crushed many surfers broadband fantasy. This decision is not the last we will hear of the fibers project or of access to high speed internet. Google's project assisted their competition, such as Comcast and AT&T, to enhance their broadband services. Optic fibers are still a central part of the cellular industry's aspirations to setup the G5 service. The big difference between 2017 and previous years is that AT&T and others will seek to provide fast broadband wirelessly directly to domains rather than use fibers.


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