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Consumer Communications 2020

  • March 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 13 pages

In this SPIE, a method of predicting the future known as “scenario development” will be applied: one which seeks to put boundaries on the future. It will not pretend to deliver a precise view of the future, but will instead provide several views of the future: essentially a worst case, neutral case, and a best case scenario. It will then extract the common themes from each with respect to the communication services market, and make some predictions of the impact of these themes on the players in that market.


Introduction

Imagine a world enabled by constant, pervasive communications; one where each individual is a nexus of information generation and reception, where everyone is on the network all the time. Welcome to the world of 2020. It is a world in which everything and everyone is always connected, and communication services are dynamic and context driven. This is one possible world that may occur. However, there is no guarantee that the world of 2020 will be that world.

Contrariwise, imagine a world in which economic development has faltered and unemployment has suppressed consumer demand for all but the basic necessities. In this world, considerations driving communication services purchases are fundamentally tied to survival. In such a world, communication services may be less tied to content delivery and more tied to telemetry: security and health services for people who increasingly hide within fortified homes.

In both of these hypothetical future worlds, connectedness is expected to be an essential characteristic of consumer life. The notion of connectedness has been discussed by many others in other publications; yet, the focus has always been the impact on the individual. This SPIE will attempt something different: it will examine the implications of connectedness from the standpoint of those who will be providing the connections. What will they be able to do or to offer in order to drive consumer consumption? Which of them is best positioned to satisfy consumer demands? In short, who will be the winners and losers among the providers of consumer communication services in 2020?

As Stratecast has noted in the past, prognostication is an uncertain business at best; and can be an exercise in unsupported speculation at its worst. However, in this SPIE, a method of predicting the future known as “scenario development” will be applied: one which seeks to put boundaries on the future. It will not pretend to deliver a precise view of the future, but will instead provide several views of the future: essentially a worst case, neutral case, and a best case scenario. It will then extract the common themes from each with respect to the communication services market, and make some predictions of the impact of these themes on the players in that market.

This analysis will be of substantial interest to network operators and those who provide technology to them.

Making Predictions

What can be said about the future except that it is essentially unknowable? After all, an infinite number of variables exist that can affect future developments. Additionally, as technology continues to advance, the rate of change, too, increases. As Figure 1 below shows, change has been on an accelerating curve ever since mankind developed technology. Some predict that within the next ten years, a “singularity” will occur that effectively makes predictions about the future impossible.

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Consumer Communications 2020

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