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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 22, 2011

Sandvine Predicts What Will Happen in 2012

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor

No, this isn't another spooky story about the Mayan long count calendar and the end of the world. We're bringing you a report today on Sandvine's predictions for technology in 2012. The report brings news of what might happen, as far as broadband is concerned, in the next year.

The Sandvine (News - Alert) report says that data pooling will start to catch on. Considering that the majority of households have more than one mobile phone, it would be very inconvenient for a family to have to purchase separate data plans for each member.

Voice plans share minutes between family and give them benefits. This type of convenience doesn't exist for most providers when it comes to data plans. With the increasing popularity of smartphones, companies might be forced to flow with the market in 2012, offering data pooling plans to share the same data within the whole family.

Sandvine continues, saying that 95 percent of tablets will be using fixed-access networking as opposed to mobile carrier services. Even if data pooling catches on, the majority of home tablet users often think of their tablets as replacements for laptops. That means they'll be relying more on WiFi (News - Alert) and less on 3G and 4G wireless carrier connections. Amazon even went as far as releasing a WiFi-only tablet known as the Kindle Fire.

It also looks like the popularity of SMS is tapering off as applications like WhatsApp and Apple (News - Alert) iMessage are starting to gain a foothold in the mobile industry. These applications use the data plan instead of the SMS carrier protocol to send messages between phones. It seems like mobile service providers are going to start seeing diminishing profits in 2012, if Sandvine is right.

Other predictions include the rise of live video feeds with real-time entertainment and a shockwave coming through when people will see their data plan bills. Mobile carriers are making a switch to usage-based, instead of unlimited, data plans.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a professional writer with experience in computer sciences, technology, and gadgets. He has written for multiple technology and travel outlets and owns his own tech blog called The Tech Guy, where he writes educational, informative, and sometimes comedic articles for an audience that is less versed in technology.

Edited by Jennifer Russell