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Mobile mergers: T-Mobile-MetroPCS; Sprint-Clearwire
In 2013, the U.S. cellular market will become increasingly competitive, despite the troubles they face. Following the failed attempt by AT&T to acquire T-Mobile, partly thanks to the intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice, the smaller networks have been bidding for others in order to bolster their financial positions and network infrastructure.
With cellular saturation at its peak, the only way these companies can grow either domestically or internationally is to acquire their rivals with the closest set of hardware to their own. With T-Mobile and MetroPCS set to merge by the second quarter. The Sprint and Clearwire deal set to clear later in 2013 now that Softbank, the primary shareholder of Sprint, gave its thumbs up to the deal, we expect to see a series of larger networks to take on the behemoths of AT&T and Verizon.
As 4G LTE is set to edge in to take the place of older technologies, falling short of actually replacing GPRS, EDGE and 3G, infrastructures will grow and develop with additional investment from outside companies, and become increasingly internationalized as LTE becomes the global standard for next-generation communications.
As the cloud gets more complex, legalities could hold it back
Businesses will increasingly rely on the cloud to separate BYOD employees from sensitive corporate data, while the cloud will become more and more a center for power and processing. The cloud is no longer 'just' storage; it is a powerful engine -- and its power will become increasingly exploited in 2013 and the years to come.
Issues and legalities over cloud data sovereignty will come to a head this year when the EU will likely have to go back to the drawing board on new data protection proposals, that affects more than just the 27 bloc of countries. Issues over where cloud data is stored and who can access that data will remain in focus, but solutions to these problems may not come to fruition overnight.
What is clear, however, is that major businesses will shun the public cloud for now -- until these problems and worries can be solved or alleviated. Expect more controversy in 2013 regarding the cloud. Ultimately, only our politicians can only solve these issues.
Yahoo could make a comeback by going 'all-in' on mobile
The former Web giant has a new chief executive, veteran Google executive and mobile expert Marissa Mayer. How she will bring her expertise to the company has yet to be seen, but 2013 could be where Yahoo stretches its wings from years in technological captivity.
The reason is simple: Yahoo is pushing mobile with mergers, acquisitions, and in-house development. Mobile is the key strategy for the company as it attempts to revive the ailing brand. Most major companies have yet to monetize mobile: Apple has its application store, as does Google, but both have yet to see their mobile advertising strategies take off. Meanwhile, Facebook has around one-third of its one-billion-plus users on mobile that it has yet to work out what to do with them.
If Yahoo nails the mobile platform, it can return to its former glory days.