The Incognito Crystal Ball: Predictions for 2015

Happy New Year! I hope the season has treated you and your families well. After settling back into my office, feeling refreshed from my brief holiday break, it’s time again to dust off my crystal ball and share some predictions for the year ahead:

Converging Networks and The Internet of Things

The digital universe is expanding at an astonishing rate. Research from Intel estimates that between 2006 and 2020 the number of data-connected objects will grow from 2 billion to 200 billion. As data snacking — frequently using small bits of data on the go — continues to trend upwards, service providers are forced to converge their fixed networks with broadband wireless access technology, allowing subscribers to access the Internet anywhere at anytime. Flexible embedded systems, multi-layered cloud service provisioning, and network function virtualization (NFV) will continue to bring us into the future of this new data era, and network performance quality will be at the center of it all. Expect rapid delivery and activation of these services and the continued growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) to be a hot topic throughout the year.

Smarter than Smart: Automated Homes

I don’t know about you, but even I bought a Nest thermostat last year. With the success of Nest, and the recent announcement at CES of Apple’s HomeKit development, the industry is making great strides towards complete home automation. But now I’m talking about even more than thermostats: from refrigerators that make your shopping lists, bathroom mirrors that give you news and weather updates while you brush your teeth, GPS sensors that adjust your heating system when your phone is within range, and even automatic notifications that tell you when you’ve got a leaky pipe in your basement. And this is all enabled by developing and implementing protocols, like TR-069, that allow these smart devices to talk to each other.

Over the Moon with OTT

The millennials have spoken: OTT content is their first choice for media. A recent Technavio report projects a 25-percent compound annual growth rate for streaming media players for the period 2013 through 2018. That percentage becomes even more significant when you consider that major OTT content streaming provider Netflix reported its total customer base as 53.1 million in Q3 of 2014 — a number that’s only continued to grow with each passing quarter. And with heavy OTT streaming comes heavy bandwidth consumption. Excessive bandwidth usage can put immense strain on a network, slowing speeds and sometimes dropping subscriber services. Bandwidth congestion management is certain to be a hot issue for many operators moving forward, and they’ll be looking for the best solution to help mitigate this problem.

So now you’ve heard my predictions for the year, but what are your thoughts for 2015? Share them with me at