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2013 Trends: David Droz, Telecoms Manager, Urban Green Energy

Growth is the biggest trend we are going to see in emerging markets. MNO’s will continue to shift their burden of infrastructure management to third parties, competing head to head with co-tenants on shared towers for millions of new customers. Specifically, here are three forecasts for how that will play out in 2013.

1. Lots of sun and wind...

Diesel makes telecoms sites economically unaffordable, vulnerably unreliable, and environmentally unsustainable. Last year, we saw solar become cheaper than diesel for the first time, and this year will bring increased uptake in renewables, especially in combination with more robust wind systems.

2. Raining Smartphones...

2012 was the year of the $50 smartphone. Operators demanded cheaper handsets and manufacturers have successfully delivered. The drizzle of smartphones that is just starting in emerging markets (300,000 to Kenya) is going to become a downpour in 2013, bringing with it greater access to mobile health, mobile money, and opportunity for developers.

3. The clouds will start rolling in...

Skyrocketing network capacity in emerging markets means more people sharing more information over the mobile network. From health records to bank statements, customers and service companies are going to need secure storage for their information, and they are going to get it in pay-as-you go cloud services.

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