Gartner: Cellular companies mistaken in focusing on mobile TV

Research company stresses that strongest trend in communications will be combination of data capabilities with voice devices.

digital phone 88 (photo credit: )
digital phone 88
(photo credit: )
As consumers are flooded with marketing from cellular companies about the latest television clip they can watch on their cellular phones, analysts at research company Gartner Group stress that the strongest trends in the convergence of telecommunications products will be in the combination of data, such as email and instant messaging capabilities, with voice devices. "Cellular companies need to look at history and see where the trend is going," Ken Delaney, VP distinguished analyst communications research at Gartner told The Jerusalem Post at the group's conference in Tel Aviv last week. "Browsing and television features have failed to capture consumer attention in the past. But they [the companies] like their gimmicks and won't admit their failures." The biggest influence, he said, will come from data services such as has been seen in the past with the successful application of short messaging services, or sms, in phones. "They need to examine why this is the case and recognize that the next step will be email, instant messaging and the like. That's where the focus needs to be," he said. Delaney, who was a guest analyst at the 17th Gartner Annual Regional conference, did not, however, totally dismiss the use of browsing services on the cellular phone. "Where you will see strong usage of the Internet through your phone is on time critical transactions, such as banking," he said. "But in the same way that consumers will not watch full movies on such a small device, they will also get lost the deeper they go into the net on their phones." Trends in the telecommunications industry fitted into the broader theme of the Gartner conference aimed at helping corporations prepare for emerging developments in technology and innovation. In his keynote address giving a 10-year scenario for information technology (IT), Andy Kyte, vice president and Gartner fellow, divided the trends into eight categories, or four pairings, and warned that the disclosures may present some "uncomfortable findings" for people in the IT industry and the business world. "These predictions suggest that the reason professionals add value to their companies may change," he said. "We are not saying what should happen. This is our research which says: these are the forces in our industry that we cannot avoid." The first pair of trends Gartner has identified, the commoditization and consumerization of technology, marks a shift in who is driving innovation. "The decisions surrounding IT systems are being moved from IT professionals to the consumer of IT services," Kyte explained. "The consumers want to be able to access services in their own way, not as professionals choose to deliver them but the way they choose to consume them. This is a revolution." As a result, Gartner forecasts higher expectations from knowledge workers from their enterprises network, and as new generations of wireless devices penetrate the market, a gradual undermining of the personal computer as the dominant Internet gateway. On a more technical level, the second 'Gartner' trend, "Tera Architectures and the virtualization of service delivery," deals with the way in which services are delivered and the translation of physical devices to virtual ones, including servers, storage, networks and clients. With up to five parallel devices running an identical workload in parallel, Gartner predicts that the demand for computing resources will continue to stretch technology capabilities, and that heating issues, a primary concern in the early days of IT development, will make its way back to be a real consideration. The third paring of trends revolves around software - who will manage it, where and how it will be delivered and how it is paid for. The company said the move in software development from license to services will result in significant market consolidation and the demise of the dominant positions held by software vendors in the market. The final trend, and perhaps the most relevant for consumers, outlines how technology will affect users' interaction with the community, as we can expect to see a continued erosion of the work/home distinction, more realistic virtual environments for collaboration, and ethical and environmental issues becoming more influential than regulatory matters. In summing up, Kyte warned that enterprises which fail to take the plunge in planning their IT management will soon be left behind. Meanwhile, in spite of its recognition as a leading innovator in the technology field, Kyte downplayed Israel's role as a trend setter in the technological roadmap. "There are very few large Israeli corporations," Kyte told the Post. "We don't see any real drivers of the trends here. The real drivers are global forces." He added, however, that Israel is generally further advanced in the application and use of technologies than markets similar in size. The Gartner conference hosted approximately 35 guest analysts who ran sessions dealing with various issues in the framework of these trends. Approximately 650 executives attended the two-day event.