2019 Year-End Review and Industry Predictions for 2020

Predictions for 2020

Looking forward to the year ahead, here are our predictions for 2020:

1. Consumer uptake of trial market 5G fixed wireless propositions will be slow

As 5G buildout continues, test market fixed wireless propositions will likely suffer from line-of-sight reliability issues and be significantly limited by their service. Many consumers will stay away from these services, while operators will focus on accelerating and strengthening their mobile network buildout.

2. 5G use cases reliant on network slicing will begin to take shape

Hold-up on standards alignment has prevented network slicing to unlock low-latency industrial applications. In 2020, we will see the first steps towards realizing the potential of network slicing, with initial tests leading the way to use case development and promising early successes.

3. Low-earth orbit satellite internet services will make an impact

Services based on low-earth orbit satellites will launch in 2020 and spark fear into the broadband market. If successful, the ability to provide coverage to large parts of the world at a lower cost than traditional satellite will produce a new and real threat to fixed broadband and legacy satellite internet services.

4. Traditional Pay-TV providers will continue to suffer heavy subscriber losses

Pay-TV subscriptions have been declining and this trend will continue and potentially accelerate. The growth of streaming services including more live TV options, coupled with faster speeds and changing consumer preferences, will make the traditional Pay-TV proposition less attractive. Providers will lose a substantial number of subscribers.

5. Streaming providers will increase focus on monetization

Increased content fragmentation will lead to greater piracy. Coupled with the impact of high competition for subscribers amid widespread subscription fatigue, actions to monetize usage will be a core focus. This will include initiatives for piracy reduction and prevention, and experimentation with new pricing and promotions.

6. Enterprises will seek out interpretable AI solutions

Risk-averse enterprises will shy away from black-box AI solutions that have not been able to show expected returns from investments in machine learning to date.

With increased scrutiny into the use of data more generally, investment will be made into ‘interpretable’ solutions that help reduce liability and provide strong justification for actions taken based on AI findings.

7. Consumers will be increasingly wary of IoT security risks

Prevalence of consumer connected devices as well as the sensitivity of the data they collect is on the rise. Fears over IoT security will play out in the media, bolstered by high-profile cases of instances of data exposure from other consumer products. Despite consumer concerns, market growth will remain healthy but will lead to greater investment in solutions to shore up security standards ahead of mass 5G adoption and greater device proliferation.

8. Data and privacy will be a top concern for global regulators

Scrutiny into the market power of leading technology companies will continue worldwide with increased regulatory pressure. Regulatory frameworks will begin to emerge to tackle some of the challenges, and in the US data privacy concerns will result in some form of federal action, though it remains to be seen whether it will follow a similar model to Europe’s GDPR regulation.

9. Quantum computing will find a valuable application

Google and IBM, among others, have been investing heavily in the next paradigm of computing, making significant progress with Google claiming quantum supremacy in Oct. 2019 [27]. Technical accomplishments will continue to stack up in 2020, with industry leaders identifying and showcasing an initial application with clear commercial potential or alternatively an application that will highlight the severity of the looming security threat quantum computing could pose.

10. Global powers will draw clearer lines between technology ecosystems

Trade wars, tariffs, regulatory approaches, and divergent consumer habits will accelerate the differences between technology and applications used in different parts of the world. In 2020 we predict continued barriers to trade and globalization more generally, and distinct technology ecosystems will continue to emerge as a result of policy choices.


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