Holiday wrap up

As the year comes to a close, we’d like to look forward to some opportunities for the upcoming year. Although we’d like to say the telecom market will turn and all will be well in this part of the industry, a global correction is probably not in the cards in the near future.

As the year comes to a close, we'd like to look forward to some opportunities for the upcoming year.  Although we'd like to say the telecom market will turn and all will be well in this part of the industry, a global correction is probably not in the cards in the near future.  Some portions of the industry are likely to improve while others may still decline further.

For this column, we'd like to focus on a couple of potential bright spots in the US market for the upcoming year. 

Wireless Operators

You've heard a great deal of discussion in the industry regarding all the money that has been sunk into wireless networks worldwide that has yet to be recouped via the new services planned for this infrastructure.  This is very true at this point, but we must recognize we are still very early as an industry in offering services that fully utilize additional bandwidth options available as we move into 2.5G/3G/4G solutions.  We believe that during the next year we will begin to see wireless data services become more commonplace as operators solidify their pricing plans and handset/PDA/interface-card prices decline from early adopter price points.

Wireless LAN is truly the brightest spot in the wireless industry for the short term.  This statement applies to both public and enterprise use.  Within the enterprise more and more organizations are realizing the benefits of their employees being more mobile with seamless connectivity back to corporate databases.  In the public realm, hot spots are not at the point that huge revenues are being realized, although they are a very important step in moving wireless connectivity toward broadband functionality.  By giving users a taste of high-speed wireless connectivity in a static location (coffee shop, airport lounge, hotel lobby) the users will begin to demand such service on a more widespread basis.

Cable MSOs

The cable guys are doing very well in the broadband race.  Everyone knows they've already won residential broadband for all intents and purposes.  Now they have set their sights to the small/midsize business communities.  There are many reasons why the multicable system operators (MSO) could also be successful in this space.  The locations of many small/midsize businesses are within reach of the existing infrastructure without requiring a huge amount of investment for deployment.  The high-speed data services already exist.  The MSOs are all working to offer voice services.  Many are initially using their traditional Class 5 infrastructures, but they all have plans to migrate to VoIP enabled services.  The small/midsize business has been notoriously underserved, although all providers claim to find them important.  If the cable guys can win here there's certainly an opportunity to move up the value chain.

These examples don't necessarily bode well for the wireline operators.  As deployment and innovation has stagnated due to budget constraints, other competitors have been given a real opportunity to catch up and pass their wireline brethren in certain scenarios.  I hope that the wireline operators will see the competition at their heels and begin to look to the future in the very near future.

Happy Holidays!

This story, "Holiday wrap up" was originally published by The Edge.

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