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Looking back at our 2012 predictions

Convergence & VoIP Alert By , Network World
December 09, 2012 10:26 PM ET
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VoIP, unified messaging, products and services

Network World - It's almost time for us to unveil our predictions for 2013 but before we look forward, today we'll look back to see how we did when we made predictions for 2012 -- projecting trends for telepresence, wireless substitution, cloud-based unified communications, BYOD and net neutrality.

Our top prediction for 2012 was the continued high growth rates for HD videoconferencing, and we weren't disappointed. We didn't see as much hype or growth about high-end systems, but we did see more agreements between service providers to offer inter-provider access. We also saw growth in "cloud-based" telepresence, and a broader adoption of mobile and desktop HD videoconferencing endpoints.

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According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report released in November, 34% of American homes had only wireless telephones at the end of 2011. As we predicted, small business are continue to show a growing willingness to "cut the cord," although we haven't seen hard numbers to prove our assertion. Still, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint have encouraged this trend with their Microsoft 365 offers. These services exemplify the predicted growth for cloud-based "communications as a service" (CaaS) suitable for the small business owner.

The "bring your own device" (BYOD) growth trend also continued as expected.

For the third year running, we predicted imminent support for VoIP supported on 4G LTE data channels, and MetroPCS broke the barrier with its VoLTE offer announced in September.

Finally, we predicted that 2012 would be a banner year for legal and regulatory battles over "net neutrality" and while we did see more litigation over the FCC policies, we didn't see much in the way of legislative. Next time, we'll need to factor in the "silly season" that revolves around election year politics before we predict concrete legislation.

Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.

Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.

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