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US Wireless Networks to Become the Next Dumb Pipes
Posted: 12-Jul-2007 [Source: Analysys]

[Researcfh group Analysys identifies three evolving scenarios for the wireless industry: 'Low-cost Data Pipes,' 'Emerging Markets Thrive' and 'Cellular Goes Indoors.']

London -- The widespread introduction of low-cost bundled data tariffs and WiMAX access networks in the US could lead to dramatic decreases in the price per megabyte of mobile data, and wireless carriers could lose control of the services they carry, according to a new report, The Future of the Global Wireless Industry: scenarios for 2007-12, published by Analysys, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media.

Analysys has defined three plausible scenarios for the evolution of the wireless industry during the next five years: 'Low-cost Data Pipes,' 'Emerging Markets Thrive' and 'Cellular Goes Indoors.'

In the 'Low-cost Data Pipes' scenario, wireless data becomes a commodity as a result of the widespread introduction of low-cost, unlimited-usage mobile data packages and the deployment of WiMAX networks. Wireless networks become transparent data pipes, in much the same way as fixed networks, and wireless carriers lose control of (and the revenue from) the services that are carried across their networks. Wireless carriers are forced to focus on reducing cellular network costs substantially so that they can deliver high volumes of data traffic profitably.

"We are already seeing early signs of this scenario," says Dr Mark Heath, co-author of the report. "The number of relatively inexpensive, uncapped-usage data tariffs from wireless carriers is increasing. Sprint Nextel's EV-DO Revision A mobile broadband service offers unlimited usage for USD59.99 per month, and Sprint is undertaking substantial investment in a nationwide Mobile WiMAX network."

The new report examines a number of key trends within the wireless industry and assesses their potential effects by defining and evaluating three plausible scenarios for the industry's evolution. The report identifies actions for mobile operators, and handset and infrastructure vendors.

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