Telecom trends to watch out in 2014 by VivaConnect MD

Vikram Raichura, managing director of VivaConnect, has shared telecom technology trends for 2014.

It’s the year 2013 that brought us tremendous goodies in form of Gadgets bundled with all-time best technology. It was a year filled with surprises from both the consumers and the businesses.

2013 completely re-wrote definition for Indian basic needs as Food, Clothing, Mobile and Shelter. Needless to say that the progress had a lot to do with mobile technology that catered everyone from Ramesh to Suresh (pun intended).

The year changed a lot right at the base level of every house hold. For instance, today a typical house hold setup has grown to a Smart television, Computer, Mobile phone, Tablet and a wireless network system connecting all these in one accord. That’s the power brought by cross platform accessibility, integrating almost every electronic device and gadget of communication that rolls out.

The year showed us a positive surge with better enterprise solutions, mobile applications, social networking, multimedia and brilliant capability to multi-task all of it. Here’s a look at technological trends of past, present and future.

Vikram Raichura, managing director of VivaConnect

Wearable Technology

Anything closer to our natural self-expression makes it easier for us to adapt. Last year saw inventors of technology focusing over making gadgets closer to our natural way of being. Thus wearable technology is slated to be in much vogue during 2014. Samsung’s Note 3 with its Galaxy Gear has already got the trend to India with an accompanying smart watch to be worn on the wrist (right or left really doesn’t matter, its smart) enabling monitoring of important data without even need of taking out your phone, be it mails, messages, phone call, information or multimedia. It’s all available and can be accessed on over compact display of the smart watch.

In 2013 wearable technology came in big time with Google glasses making our jaws drop down. They were a perfect harbinger of mobile technology to follow in 2014. There’s a fair good speculation of more of such innovative devices unveiling in 2014.

From fAR to neAR

Did you happen to spot some advertisements or labels of products asking you  scan them with your smart device, which when you did unraveled a series of interactive activity on your screen through amazing 3D work in backdrop of your surrounding environment (obviously on the screen) That my friend was your dose of Augmented reality

Augmented Reality is a cutting edge technology that generates digitally enhanced view of our real world, adding much helpful description of things backed by interactive videos, sounds, animation and info. The technology will blur out the line between what’s real and what’s virtual by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and even smell.

AR functions over smart phone applications with inputs from camera triggering an action to open up a world of information. Imagine you land up in a new town and are absolutely clueless where this road leads to or which is this building standing tall in front of you. All you got to do is switch on the application and allow it to capture the surrounding and right there on your screen shall you know about the building, where the roads lead to and any other vital information of that location, like hotels, library, subways, etc. Cool isn’t it!

AR will be taken up by brands to educate and engage the consumers, like as you have your morning breakfast you may scan the cereal box and it might play you nutritional benefits audio clip or take you the pages of healthy food habits or anything else. The possibilities for AR are nearly endless.

Soon you’ll be even able to test drive your favorite car right on your screen, just wait and watch!

E-commerce graduates to M-commerce

The concept or rather the facility to which Indian consumers stayed quite reclusive for years suddenly got trendier in 2013 after introduction of Tablets and smart phones that actually persuaded people to buy. Thus brands finally succeeded to shift shoppers to online shopping with easy-to-shop website and Mobile applications. Interestingly, people are going online to check if anyone else is offering them a better deal for a product, while they are shopping for it at a store. The trend is highly popular and useful for comparing products, reading other user’s reviews and ratings, learning its features and flaws, etc.

Earlier the masses accessed internet over desktops, then came the laptops and now the mobile. Interestingly almost 70% of active online adult social networkers shop online over mobile phones and tablets.

From 3G to 4G

3G networks were highly marketed and sought after during 2013, as special plans and schemes were devised by telecom service providers to wrap in maximum customers. But above all it was the popularity and affordability of tablets & smart phones that built the demand.

In the year ahead we all shall jump into the ultra-speed broadband networks spread over wider areas. Yes It shall be the time for 4th Generation connectivity.

To manage the growing volume of digital content services of consumers, telecom operators would be seen to develop a scalable, high-performance and reliable IT infrastructure incorporating flash-based storage and intelligent content delivery networks to meet the high-bandwidth requirements.

Did you know that even the climbers of Mount Everest enjoyed a 4G network coverage during 2013, made possible by Huawei and China mobile.

Android

Masses happily made a move to much hot & happening Android based smart phones and tablets in 2013. The year also saw launch of much awaited Android 4.4 Kit Kat, named after famous Nestlé’s chocolate bar (No points for guessing). Coupled with cool range of Nexus handsets..  Google nailed it!

The year delivered the best in smart phones with Android & iOS devices taking to the podium stealing the show. Both the phones offer a great functionality for every distinctive user and came with a stroke of marketing genius. Apart from them, consumers had a wide variety of smart phones matching every pocket. All in all it was a bright year for smart phones.

A fantastic new universe of mobile applications became part of our lives, as we chose among the best suiting our needs. Apps ranged from ticket booking to calorie counting and navigators to translators. Google Play and iTunes markets continue to flood with millions of apps.

Smart phones shall take over the remaining market in 2014.

Elections over Social Media

The elections fever was highly built up over social media as Political parties and leaders took to the Twitter and Facebook to voice out, connect and interact with population. With 2014 Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, the focus would be high over social media platforms as they are the hot spot of the youths. This would serve as the best medium to have real-time responses and monitoring the reactions, both for the Political Parties and the Indian population.

A new political party stood apart from the rest with their efforts of going public to personal through the social media. Having personal reach to masses would be the key 2014, mobile will be the effective connect.

Expect more Candies

The candy crush saga of 2013 alone is enough to tell about it popularity of gaming among smart phone and online users. This highly addictive game that challenges the players to match the sweets in combinations became a worldwide phenomenon with over 500m downloads. Masses are totally glued to the game and if you encounter someone talking of trading extra lives, worry not it’s just a candy crush talk.

Games are proving to be so fruitful that even the big budgeted Bollywood productions launched exclusive games to engage masses and promote their films. The list includes top grossing films of the year as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Chennai Express and Dhoom 3. And only if one thought gaming was a kids thing, they couldn’t be any wrong.

Gaming would be hot hotter hottest in 2014.

Big Data gets BIGGER

Big Data will develop insights for fine-tuning of systems with collective information and is bound to hold a priority among Enterprises in 2014. It will help them to understand the customer and the context in which they utilize their smart devices. It will also manage and process the data faster speeding up the overall process, thus putting an end to the single enterprise data warehouses. The data accumulated would be valuable source of information.

In the recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Asia Pacific Big Data Survey, sponsored by HDS, over 70% of organizations in the region believed that big data adoption will improve their profitability, productivity, and innovation. And why not, quality information shall bring refined products and services.

Big Data analytics is highly promising and holds great validity. Big Data will transform the face of every activity carried out by us.

Missed call services, Live events over call … trendier!

Services over mobile were at all time high in 2013 as people banked, voted, registered and procured information through missed call &voice call services. Businesses chose mobility solutions to connect and engage with their customers as the most convenient platform. The distinguishing factor was in service being absolutely free to the masses. Many FMCG brands & TV Channels ran interactive contest and promotional campaigns over missed call service. The trend caught up strong and is surely rolling bigger in 2014.

Most innovative service of 2013 came over mobile through audio broadcasting of live events over a phone call. Need to keep our eyes open on this one.

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