As a wireless analyst and columnist, I’ve been commenting on the always growing and changing wireless industry for more than thirty years. I spend time following and commenting on the changing industry, new products and services and companies who compete in the mobile space. This week the Mobile World Congress in partnership with CTIA are holding their MWCA 2018 wireless trade show in Los Angeles. This year I think I may just be speechless at the innovation wave that is coming our way.
Sure, we expect to see leaders like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint on the network side. And Google with Android, Apple with iPhone and Samsung with Galaxy on the handset side. Plus, hundreds if not thousands of app makers in their own corner of the show. But there is so much more. But there is also so much more.
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Apple, Google, KORE Wireless
We also see plenty of lesser known but equally important companies serving quiet sectors of the mobile industry like KORE Wireless who offer M2M wireless connectivity solutions and IoT to their business customers. They are helping the business community continue to improve using wireless.
Plus, in recent years, we are seeing new companies entering wireless for the first time. This is one of the truly amazing and eye-opening reasons I enjoy these shows so much. One example is how the cable television industry is successfully entering wireless.
Companies like Comcast Xfinity Mobile have quietly had a very strong first year and a half entering the mobile space. Charter Spectrum Mobile just joined them recently. They don’t yet have a track record, but they have the same opportunity for rapid growth. So, does Altice Mobile which won’t launch until next year.
Cable TV enters wireless, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Altice Mobile
These cable television companies don’t offer their own network. They are MVNO resellers. Comcast and Charter resell Verizon Wireless. Altice will resell Sprint when they enter the space next year.
Google also entered the wireless network space as an MVNO player with their Project Fi. True, the name does not say wireless, but they are a mobile competitor reselling both T-Mobile and Sprint services. Google is now in all three segments of the wireless marketplace, services, smartphones and Android.
Google Project Fi, Amazon, Facebook and more
I fully expect this quiet MVNO space to continue to grow and get plenty of attention going forward. Expect many more new companies to jump into the race as a wireless competitor.
Wireless is not a guaranteed success story for every player. We have seen plenty of failures in the wireless space as well over the last decade. You remember Amazon Fire Phone and the Facebook phone years ago.
These companies are still interested in the wireless world and I would not be surprised to see them take another try at entering the space. So, let’s keep our eyes open. The MVNO space seems to be gearing up. This is good news for investors and new companies, but also for carriers who will get the wholesale traffic.
Other industries entering wireless, automotive, healthcare, pay TV
Plus, there are all of the new companies in different industries who are using wireless today and will continue to do so going forward.
Companies in the automotive industry bringing connectivity to the car with updates and new features being downloaded to the vehicle while on the road.
The healthcare industry which is using wireless to provide much better-quality medical services to everyone, worldwide.
Wireless will also move into and transform other industries as well. 5G, IoT, AI and the cloud will bring new competition to the pay TV wars as well. Who do you get pay TV from today? Is it AT&T with DirecTV NOW, Comcast, Charter or Altice? What about one of the new players like HULU, , Facebook or YouTube?
5G, AI, IoT and the cloud will further transform the wireless world
Well buckle your seat belts because the world of pay TV and cable TV is getting ready for a new beginning when 5G goes into action in the next few years. That’s right, you will be able to order pay TV services wirelessly from new or existing players.
That means no cable. No high-speed Internet lines. You will get top quality pay TV wirelessly. That means new players will enter the pay TV field. Companies like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint. That could also mean companies like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile and Altice Mobile.
It also means new competitors will enter this space and compete with all the heavy hitters. New companies that don’t exist today will enter along with Amazon, Microsoft, Hulu and many others in this rapidly growing and changing space.
The future of wireless is truly amazing!
We will also see the blending of industries like pay TV and wireless to create new combined products and services.
5G, IoT, AI and the cloud will also transform the wireless industry in many new ways. M2M will continue to rapidly grow on the business side of this space. Companies who serve business customers will see many new business and growth opportunities in coming years with the speed and technology that is coming.
Plus, there are hundreds of booths at shows like this MWCA 18 from companies you never heard of before with technologies that we use every day in our iPhones and Android smartphones, tablets and other wireless gear on both the consumer side and the business side of this industry.
Some of them will make it and others won’t, but either way, this trade show along with every other wireless trade show remain some of the most exciting places to be. You can walk the aisles and see the future! Amazing.
MWCA 18 along with CTIA are powerful trade groups and these annual shows are incredibly powerful and important to take the temperature of where we are today and to get us ready for what is coming tomorrow.
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