Mike Hollands, director of the connectivity and mobile segment at Interxion, forecasts big growth in the mobile community in 2014, and a more diversified portfolio of services offered by carriers.
For the past few years, the carrier industry has been increasingly driven by the mobile ecosystem – an ever-expanding collection of products and services capitalising on the explosion of smartphone adoption – which shows no signs of slowing down. Gartner last year acknowledged the mobile payments markets as a key area for growth in this space, estimating that the global mobile transaction volume and value will average 35 per cent annual growth between 2012 and 2017, and there will be more than 450 million users in three years’ time.
What else will we see from the carrier industry in 2014?
1. Mobile community will be a key driver for the data centre industry – This year, the “mobile ecosystem” will be a key driver in the take up of data centre space. This encompasses all types of mobile businesses including payments providers, media video specialists, location providers, apps and companies that help enterprises utilise mobile services. The massive growth of the mobile community will result in an overwhelming need to store the growing mass of data.
2. Rise in carriers acquiring other companies – Throughout the coming 12 months we’ll see more carriers making acquisitions in order to offer a broader range of services, and thus saving expenditure on in-house teams and compensating for the loss of revenues in traditional voice and messaging. We saw this happen in 2013 when Verizon bought EdgeCast, and this will only further accelerate in 2014 as carriers decide in-house solutions may take too long to bring to market..
3. Internet exchanges expand their horizons – In Europe this year, we’ll see country Internet exchanges (IXPs) operate on more pan-European basis. We’ll continue to see IXPs that traditionally operate in one country, take their brand and peering platforms to other countries as well.
4. More connection options available between data centres – This year, connectivity providers will enhance connections between data centres by driving prices down, and make these connections much quicker and easier to provision. Data Centres will become even better connected with one another. This will mean that customers will increasingly use multiple, well connected data centres to meet their IT infrastructure requirements.
5. Mobile network operators develop better peering connections with content providers – In the past, mobile network operators’ efforts have been primarily focused on enhancing connectivity between mobile phones and the local antenna. They have faced a huge challenge with limited capacity on antennas. In 2014, we’ll see them move their focus from the antenna towards having more efficient peering with content providers. Much more consideration will be taken over interconnecting and peering, as opposed to simply thinking about congestion at antennas.