In 2013, expect PCs to continue to dominate Web traffic, crowd funding to enjoy another record year and be prepared for traffic slowdowns and dropped calls on cellular networks during peak hours.
These and other trends are expected to shape the technology, media and telecommunications industries this year, according to consulting firm Deloitte Canada’s annual TMT predictions list, which was unveiled Tuesday morning.
While strong sales of smartphones and tablets in 2012 combined with a decline in personal computer sales might suggest users are packing up their PCs in favour of more mobile devices, 80% of Internet traffic is still expected to come from PCs in 2013, according to Duncan Stewart, director of research for Deloitte Canada.
“As much as we enjoy our tablets and smart phones, their remains a significant number of people that use the PC for the bulk of their computer activities,” Mr. Stewart said.
Many Canadians will continue to use PCs for the majority of their Web activities thanks to the larger screens and tactile keyboards that make for easier typing of long emails than tablets or smartphones. Inside the enterprise, Deloitte found tablets are being used to access the Web in addition to PCs, rather than replacing PCs.
Crowd funding was one of the hottest trends in the TMT fields in 2012, with Kickstarter.com alone attracting more than two million backers who pledged nearly US$320-million. Deloitte expects crowd funding portals to enjoy another stellar year in 2013, doubling their overall haul from 2012.
“Our view is that [crowd funding is] still in its early days and we don’t seem to have hit any sort of cap,” Mr. Stewart said. ”It seems to be continuing to grow.”
Consumers may also want to rethink their online passwords in 2013, with 90% of user-generated passwords, eight characters and under, will be vulnerable to attack in the coming year as hacking technologies continue to improve.
“There are these new hardware machines that can crack ultra fast,” Mr. Stewart said.
“It’s called brute force hacking. There is also something called crowd-hacking where a bunch of hackers get together and hack a list.”
One solution, according to Deloitte, is multi-factor authentication. Online storage service Dropbox implemented a multi-factor solution in August after a number of passwords and email addresses were stolen. Upon initial password entry, a Dropbox user must also enter a six digit passcode sent to their cellphone via text message.
Smartphone users will also likely face an increase in dropped calls and slower network speeds during peak hours in 2013, according to the report. The cause is due to a spectrum shortage and an increasing user base as more consumers adopt Web-enabled smartphones.
While progress is being made to make additional spectrum available, solutions making more efficient use of the available spectrum, such as LTE, are not keeping pace with the growing demand, Mr. Stewart said.
According to the report, wireless traffic will increase 50 fold from 2012 to 2016.
Deloitte’s 10 TMT Predictions for 2013.
1. PC not yet dead – Users still not ready to cut the cable with their PC’s. It’s about usage, not units sold.
2. Bring your own computer – More companies will allow employees to bring their own PC’s, but without the stipend.
3. Password security – Multi-factor authentication is the way to go to protect your accounts from hacking.
4. Enterprise social networks – Roughly 90% of Fortune 500 companies will have social networks available to employees. Getting them to sign up is another story
5. Crowd funding – Record growth will continue as pledges will double in 2013.
6. 4K TV – Television with four times the resolution of 1080p sets will be available in 2013, but the prices will be high.
7. Cord-cutting – Less than 1% of pay-TV subscribers will cancel their subscriptions, but those who do will spend more on Internet data.
8. Over-the-top – Brand loyalty and content will mean two of the top three providers of OTT content will be existing broadcasters and distributors.
9. Mobile advertising – Continued experimentation as advertisers focus advertising specific to tablets and smartphones.
10. Wireless spectrum shortage – Users on cellular networks could see slowdowns during peak periods as demand will exceed supply.