Predicting The Obvious

It’s the time of year when all and sundry publish their predictions for the next year in the world of technology. The trick, though, is finding the predictions that actually offer some insight, rather than just predict the obvious. A research firm has given its predictions for 2006 on some mobile and wireless industries, with the gimmick of predicting things that won’t happen, rather than what will. Of course, in mobile and wireless, that’s like shooting fish in a barrel given the excessive levels of hype built up around around products that don’t manage to deliver. So some of the firm’s thoughts on 2006: regulatory concerns will stifle in-flight cellular and broadband, satellite radio companies won’t have successful video products, and surprise, surprise — mobile TV and video won’t be widely available in the United States. What’s slightly interesting is that it won’t be because nobody is interested or because of overpriced, uncompelling offerings, but rather because operators are relying on unicast transmission, a relatively inefficient method of distribution. While multicast networks offer a superior technical solution in some regards, it won’t matter if people aren’t interested in the content.

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