What Is The Future Of Mobile Communications

Now, it’s been over three decades since wireless communication went mainstream. It has been at the center of virtually every technological transformation that we have witnessed. From the way we connect to the way we shop, travel or use any services, everything we do online has been built at the back of mobile communications. And this is not by accident but because mobile communications essentially keep the Internet going -- working as a channel between users and content providers. For instance, no matter how many millions of videos YouTube has on its servers, they are all wasted unless users are provided with a fast and reliable internet connectivity to access them.

With billions of internet users accessing countless numbers of services on the internet, mobile communication industry is expected to bloom. Right?

Well, short answer- yes. Long answer- it’s complicated.

Mobile communication is a trillion-dollar industry with more number of users accessing their services than ever, their networks are faster than ever and they are making more money than they ever had in the past. So yes, they are in a pretty good shape. But to gauge what the future holds, we will need to take a look back at the history.

Before the Internet became as popular as it is now, SMS and voice calls were the main revenue channels with calculators and calendars being all there was about mobile apps. Then came the Internet and brought with it an endless array of opportunities, one of which was instant messaging. On one hand, where mobile communications found a new capability in terms of data connectivity, the old- reliable SMS was simply replaced by chat application development.

Coming to the present scenario- as data connectivity gained speed, coverage, and reliability, technologies like VoIP, VoLTE, or simply, voice and video calling through mobile applications, began to gain popularity and start the next phase of evolution for mobile communication.

The future?

Technology has always been a step ahead of expectations but what can’t be predicted is where the change will come from. So, let’s first talk about what’s almost certain and then we will get to some speculations.

It is now an undeniable fact that data is the future of mobile communications. While most of the services are already based on this premise, even voice calling, as we know it today, is guaranteed to become obsolete in the coming years. This means that no matter what people do on their device, businesses will need to create an app for that. Moreover, since this transformation brings convenience for users and a whole set of benefits for businesses, there is no reason for resistance and it will happen much sooner than most of us ever expected.

Let’s get to the second, uncertain part -- how? There are two theories here and we will just discuss both and leave it on you to decide which one seems likely. As we mentioned, data is set to be the only staple for mobile communication industry, unless they do something about it. And recent developments in RCS (Rich Communication Standard) suggest that they are indeed fighting back to gain more ground. It enables them to create their own set of services available across all platforms, independent of the Internet. It will be like a mini-internet with a limited set of features that every user can take advantage of on their devices without data connectivity. There is just one problem though - with rising concerns about net neutrality, there is a good reason to believe that it will face a tough time under scrutiny.

The second and the more likely scenario is that mobile communication will disappear as we know it. With tech giants like Facebook and Google launching satellites, flying drones, and balloons, and setting up public hotspots to offer fast Internet connectivity to even the most remote locations on earth, we can safely assume that the entire planet will become a giant hotspot in the coming years. It will be a well-connected world where users will remain online 24/7 with applications serving as the gateway to endless services.

Closing Remarks

So, which one do you think will trump the other? Or is there also a third way that mobile communications may evolve? Share your views in the comments below.