Mobile Predictions 2024

I hope you had a fantastic New Year’s celebration surrounded by family and friends.

2023 proved to be a remarkable year. The economy, despite the forecasts stayed pretty resilient. GenAI emerged as the next “It” tech that enamored the media, regulators, and the tech ecosystem like the Internet did almost three decades ago. The two wars escalated, geo-political tensions simmered, impact of the pandemic waned, the world continued to react to the continuous tumult and devastation, moving on from crisis to another but the only constant was technological progress and endurance.

As many readers know, we do our annual survey (now in its 17th year) to engage our knowledgeable community on trends and events to keep us informed. The composite view gives a glimpse into the future scenarios. Executives, developers, and insiders from leading mobile companies and startups from across the value chain and from around the globe participated to educate us on what to expect of 2024. The survey draws upon the unique collective wisdom of the folks who are making it happen. Thanks for being part of our annual ritual.

On the tech front, we saw significant acceleration in a number of domains, something we have talked about in our research as well as at our summits.

As we have mentioned before, we have entered the Quantumverse and the tech industry is growing beyond its traditional borders to transform every vertical industry and by extension – the global GDP. Proof is in the numbers.

2023 was the year when 5G picked up a significant pace. More than 1.3B 5G devices in the market. Growing at 3x the rate of LTE with China, India, US, and Japan setting the pace of global rollouts. The opportunities at the intersection of Connected Intelligence, Vertical Industries, and emerging technologies like 5G, AI, and Edge, Private Networks, etc. are likely to unleash a decade long innovation cycle. We will perhaps start to understand the complexity and the potential of the Quantumverse in 2024.

However, there are dark clouds on the horizon – global economy downturns, wars, trade skirmishes, and regional conflicts can adversely impact the trajectory. True sustainability remains a challenge for the tech industry with climate related incidents rising at a similar pace as the GenAI bots. There are a number of unanswered questions about the multi-dimensional tech industry. Additionally, it is election year in the two biggest democracies in the world – India and US, (there are elections in 38 more countries) making 2024 the biggest election year in history.

2024 might turn out to be a pivotal year for the world in more ways than one.

The biggest stories of 2023 were the GenAI tsunami, economy, inflation, and recession fears, tech layoffs, 5G launches around the globe, US-China tech tussles, Rise of Nvidia, big tech domination, collapse of the metaverse, crypto meltdown, and the start of the new space race.

For 2024, it is not a surprise that GenAI will continue to dominate our attention on multiple fronts – the sheer pace of progress and its integration into the workflow, efforts to regulate AI, geo-politics, elections, etc. Though the economy, inflation, and the threat of a recession will consume economists and the media, consumers and businesses will largely remain oblivious to the risks. 5G will continue to grow and there is renewed enthusiasm for OpenRAN. Startups are driving new experiences. Computing seems to be entering a renaissance era. Most of the pieces of the Quantumverse are coming together.

We are settling on our perceptions of which trends are here to stay and which ones are showing signs of reversal. Microsoft is slated for the biggest acquisition for the year. Amazon remains the company the regulators are most likely going to breakup. Many in the ecosystem have settled on the notion that China has edged out US in the 5G race and now all eyes are on 6G. The probability of splinternet is going to go up in the coming year.

The 2024 survey delved deeper this year to understand the progression of 5G, GenAI, and automation.

As we go into 2024, there are new questions to ponder over – How will GenAI be integrated and optimized across networks, nodes, devices, and data centers. Are we capable of settling the thorny issues around ethics, policy, copyrights, and transparency? Will explainability become central to design or are we going to hallucinate our way through it? Will Vision Pro reshape the spatial computing landscape, or will we have to wait for a few years? Will mobile operators move beyond the obvious into enterprise solutions to monetize 5G? Will regulatory frameworks get a reboot? As you know, we have been exploring all these concepts under the umbrella of “Connected Intelligence”.

Mobile Company of the Year: T-Mobile was voted as the company of the year again for its stupendous success and competitive position in the industry. The company ended up the year at the top in marketcap besting China Mobile and Comcast and easily surpassing its peers in the US. Startups, Samsung, Jio, OpenAI, and Apple rounded out the top 5. Nvidia is expected to have the honors for 2024.

Mobile Person of the Year: Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI was our tech person of the year. He was at the center of the GenAI drama throughout the year. Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft and Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla/X/Starlink were 2nd and 3rd respectively. For the year 2024, Jensen Huang and Satya Nadella won the top honors.

As we embark on 2024, we extend our heartfelt wishes for your continued health and success throughout the year.