Wireless is Dead! Long Live Wireless! By John Haine, u-blox
Wireless Is Dead!
Whoa there! That’s a dangerous thing to post on the Cambridge Wireless blog isn’t it, let alone use it as the title for next year’s Future of Wireless International Conference? But when we started thinking about the theme for FWIC’15, we realised that under the hood so much is changing in our industry, in quite fundamental ways, that maybe we could adopt a challenging (and maybe career limiting!) title. So what are the changes that made us think this way?
One of them was the realisation that for at least the past 15 years the industry has been driven by the phone as a consumer product, from bricks to candy bars to flips to touchscreens. So much has changed that we forget the first GSM phone call was made only a quarter century ago. Through this evolution it’s also become much more than just a phone, it’s a universal communicator, computer, health monitor, even just a toy. Product life has been short as the industry persuaded people to upgrade every 18 months or less. The huge volumes generated big revenues for the phone makers, lots of data for the operators to carry (unprofitably!), and big R&D bucks to drive the standards forward to make phones quicker, smarter and sexier so people would want to upgrade and use more data so operators needed more spectrum and… (repeat ad infinitum!). But now everyone has a black slab, and they all work more or less the same and there are signs that the market is saturating. Is the merry-go-round falling off its axle? The industry in a few years could be very different, perhaps the technology won’t be much different from today’s, maybe 5G is a G too far?
That’s not to say that there aren’t interesting things happening in wireless, but they may not be the ones we could expect. Some of those we’ll explore in future blogs. Meanwhile, the French had a saying when one of their kings died and the dauphin took his place: “Le Roi est mort; vive le Roi”. The same will be true for our industry, it will just be different – and perhaps even more interesting!
Watch out for the next blog about FWIC’15.
Long Live Wireless!
About The Author
John Haine is RF Technology Innovation Coordinator, u-blox AG
Find him on Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/john–haine/1/63b/586
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Want to find out more about Cambridge Wireless? Visit http://www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/