Mobile Technology 2012

For a comprehensive gobal overview of the mobiles industry see NetFluency: Mobile Industry 2012

Status of mobile devices today

  • US Mobile Device Growth Continuing massive growth in volumes and market penetration
  • Continuing improvements in functionality and ease-of-use
  • Devices are very comprehensive sensors/transducers
    • Audio, video, accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, geo-location, touch-screen, voice activation
  • Major technology developments:
  • Rapid transition to iOS and Android consumer devices
    • Proprietary platforms with open APIs
    • Widgets provide faster user acccess and reduce device overheads compared with browser based apps
  • Devices connect in multiple ways
    • GSM, HSPDA, LTE, Wi-Fi, Blue-tooth, USB, HDMI
  • M2M devices decreasing in size and cost; increasing functionality
    • Very promising applications in manufacturing, agriculture, mining, services, etc.
  • Implementation of IPv6 provides every device with a unique address

Status of wireless networks

  • US Mobile Data Growth Cellular covers most except remote areas
    • LTE offers speed, functionality and capacity
    • LTE not yet cost effective for high density campus applications for manufacturing industry
  • Satellite
    • High cost, low capacity, but global coverage
  • 802.11 (Wi-Fi or WLAN) for local area networks
    • Significant density and capacity limitations for campus networks
  • 802.15.4 personal area networks


  • Protocols define the interoperable processes by which devices and networks connect
  • HTTP is the standard text based protocol of the web and is applicable for management and ssupervisory applications in M2M
  • HTTPS is the encrypted version of HTTP
  • UDP is a basic protocol without any error checking or control
  • SIP is for streaming applications such as voice and video
  • CoAP is for resource constrained streaming applications where caching is required

Status of service delivery platforms

  • Traditional services based on international standards but proprietary implementations with cross-royalties
  • Shift towards open-source platforms for newer services
  • Even with proprietary platforms the APIs are open, eg, iOS and Android
  • Open source platforms are shifting to pre-configured distributions for rapid deployment in specific industry sectors
  • Open source platforms are becoming mobile friendly and "mobile first" (eg, Drupal 8)
  • Growing support for web 3.0 semantic markup (RDF) and query (SPARQL)
    • is an initiative by Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex to progress towards full web 3.0

Technology gaps/opportunities

  • Device power consumption is still too high for consumer and many M2M applications
  • Devices largely opaque to the creative impulse - more pencil and paper functionality required
  • Campus wireless networks are still too expensive (LTE) or limited capacity and capability (Wi-Fi)
  • Core functionality of open-source platforms requires continuing development
  • Plug-in modules for specific applications