Not Like the Old Days, but Better Than a Loss: Smartphone Sector Gains Slightly

    IDC reported this week that smartphone shipments are expected to grow through 2021. Last year, shipments were 1.47 billion. That number is expected to reach 1.7 billion in 2021. That computes to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected be 3.3 percent.

    This is a bit of a new reality. Last year, shipments were up slightly more than 2.5 percent compared to 2015, the first year ever of single digit growth. IDC suggests that two trends, a two-year replacement cycle and new user demand, will keep the sector moving. However, the expected CAGR of 3.3 percent for the term of the report doesn’t come close to the halcyon days of double-digit expansion.

    The firm found that market share will stay constant over the period of the report. Android’s share will move from 85.2 percent this year to 85.5 percent in 2021. Apple’s iOS will lose a fraction, moving from 14.6 percent to 14.4 percent. The other category will shrink slightly to hold an even smaller portion than it has today.

    States Moving Toward FirstNet

    Hurricane Harvey is another illustration of the importance of emergency communications. AT&T and the U.S. Department of Commerce are addressing the chronic weakness of these platforms with FirstNet. The nascent network is signing up states to participate in FirstNet, which is expected to greatly improve crisis communications capabilities. Now, according to FirstNet, 20 states have opted into the program. Four states have announced their intention of participating this week: Nebraska, Hawaii, Tennessee and Alaska. Puerto Rico also came on board.

    Verizon recently announced that it will offer first responder network services to states and territories as well.

    People Care About Net Neutrality

    The public comment period on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality action ended on August 30. A record 21,873,926 comments on net neutrality were and a recorded.

    Comments touched on such items as the reconsideration of the 2015 Open Internet order rules against blocking, throttling and prioritization and Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to change the classification of broadband, according to Broadcasting & Cable. The submissions in some cases are quite sassy:

    Those comments included a wide range of unfiltered input, with the docket packed with four-letter words and invective the FCC would never allow on air, but does in its comment system in the interests of letting all weeds, as well as flowers, bloom. Pai had signaled that the FCC was going to err on the side of inclusiveness in the docket.

    The story says that some of the submissions likely are duplicates or from overseas. It is possible that some action is taken on net neutrality this month.

    Verizon and Partners Demo CBRS

    Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Federated Wireless say that they are the first to demonstrate Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) operation in an LTE Advanced carrier aggregation scenario.

    The CBRS band, according to FierceWireless, to date has been used for radar systems. It is 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum that the FCC is allowing to be repurposed for small cell traffic. The demonstration looks at the ability to aggregate wireless traffic on the systems as well.

    The Impact of a Mobile Workforce

    Mobile workers are having a profound impact on communications technology and business in general. More people are working from home and in general the requirements are greater. This, of course, leads to vendor investments and further pushes technology, according to a commentary at RCR Wireless.

    Video conferencing is one of the most positively affected areas. The story uses Uberconference as an example. These systems generally are easier to use, far more flexible, have better features and are more secure. A greater percentage of mobile workers means that work processes involving tasks, commitments, goals and interactions invariably shift and evolve as well.

    Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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