Deloitte has recently released their 2015 Predictions report which among other things, details their predictions around Telecommunications for the coming year. In this area they had the following three main expectations.
- One billion smartphone upgrades
Deloitte predicts that in 2015 smartphone sales will be greater in units and revenues than the PC, television, tablet and games console sectors combined.
1.35 billion Smartphones will be sold in 2015 and over 1 billion of these will be bought as upgrades by someone who already has a phone. This makes smartphones one of the most successful consumer products in the world, especially considering that in developed markets seven out of ten consumers upgraded their phone in the last 18 months.
- The connectivity chasms deepen: the growing gap in broadband speeds
Deloitte expects the global number of homes with broadband to have grown by about two percent to 715 million by the end of 2015. This increase however covers a wide range of performance levels which can differ from a few megabits per second to a few hundred. While overall speeds should increase worldwide there is a growing divide between not only those who have broadband and those who don’t, but between those with the fastest speeds and those who just have basic connectivity. This will result in a varied experience from home to home, especially for high bandwidth applications like streaming video.
3. Contactless mobile payments (finally) gain momentum
Deloitte predicts that by end-2015, five percent of the base of 600-650 million near-field communication (NFC) equipped phones will be used at least once a month to make contactless in-store payments at retail outlets.
“In South Africa, smartphones are already being used to check balances, transfer funds and transact online, but they have not reached a ‘mobile wallet’ status globally,” said Mark Casey, TMT industry leader for Africa at Deloitte.
Deloitte says however that while usage of phones to make contactless payments is expected to increase over time, they are likely to co-exist for some time with all other means of payment, from contactless credit cards to cash. “It will be a long while before the majority of us can jettison our physical wallets.”