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|Advanced Services Demand Advanced Networks|
|3G/4G Penetration Rates (per 100 population)|
|f = BMI forecast. Source: BMI|
'Service Anywhere' connectivity will be the telecoms industry's over-riding goal for the next five years. Mobile technologies will be the great facilitators for the spread of such services and we anticipate 3G/4G subscriptions growing from 3.652bn in 2016 to 4.827bn by 2020. We do not expect 5G technologies to be commercially available before 2020, so there will be continued investment in supplementary technologies, such as vectoring, fibre, DOCSIS 3.0, small cells and low power wide area wireless.
Advanced services will be heavy users of bandwidth and we forecast multi-purpose fixed/mobile broadband accesses to grow to 1.380bn by 2020. Dedicated mobile broadband connections will gradually become more ubiquitous but less retail subscription-orientated; broadband subscriptions would otherwise be more numerous by 2020.
In time, subscription numbers will become less relevant as an indicator of growth. As operators pursue connected strategies, so the number of devices linked to a single account-holder will proliferate. Connected cars, smart meters, smart prosthetics and clothing will be just a few of a myriad of 'things' connecting to the Internet. Monetising connected services will be operators' new priority.
Although it has become heavily commoditised and therefore less attractive as a paid-for service, voice still has an important role to play. It will be included in multi-product bundles and will therefore count in operators' reported connection numbers, especially in developed markets where triple-play uptake is developing rapidly. In less developed markets, voice will continue to be required as a stand-alone product although, increasingly, it will migrate to less transparent IP offerings.
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Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, BMI Industry Forecast Scenario, Telecommunications Risk Reward Index, Market Overview, Regulatory Environment, Company Profiles and Competitive
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