Deloitte defines the main trends for 2011 in the telecommunications, media and technology sector

Today sees the release of "Deloitte Predictions for the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Sector, 2011".
18 Jan 2011

Brussels, 18 January 2011 – Today sees the release of "Deloitte Predictions for the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Sector, 2011". For a decade, this annual report has focused on identifying the trends likely to affect rapidly changing industries in the technology, media & telecommunications sector. For example, the 2011 edition predicts that in 2011 more than 50% of computing devices sold will not be PCs, but smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks. Moreover, Deloitte predicts that the volume of data uploaded or downloaded from portable devices via public Wi-Fi networks will likely grow faster (25-50%) than that carried over cellular broadband networks, and that we will watch 140 billion more hours of television in 2011, worldwide. According to Deloitte, the proportion of businesses using eGov services is expected to average over 90% worldwide, and that there will be no important innovations with regards to batteries in 2011.

The 10th edition of this annual publication presents Deloitte's view of the major trends over the next 12-18 months that should have significant medium- to long-term impacts for companies in the technology, media & telecommunications (TMT) industries. The goal is to catalyse discussions around important topics that may require actions from companies or governments.

The most important conclusions of the report are as follows:"

Smartphones and tablets: more than half of all computers aren't computers anymore

Deloitte predicts that in 2011 more than 50% of computing devices sold will not be PCs, but smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks1, with combined sales reaching well over 400 million units. Although traditional PCs will remain the workhorse computing platform, 2011 may well mark the tipping point as we move to a far more heterogeneous environment.

Moreover, in 2011 more than 25% of all tablet computers will likely be bought by enterprises, with that figure rising in 2012 and beyond. For example, Deloitte predicts that during 2011 up to 5 million tablets could be deployed in the retail and healthcare industries, thanks to ease of use, long battery life, minimal need for training and rapid app development.

For IT departments the cost of managing a mixed network is likely to be much higher. In addition, Deloitte predicts that no standard non-PC operating system will emerge in the near term. This could boost costs for IT departments, application developers and media companies.

Wi-Fi complements cellular broadband for "data on the move"

In 2011 the volume of data uploaded or downloaded from portable devices via public Wi-Fi networks will likely grow faster (25-50%) than that carried over cellular broadband networks. The bulk of this growth will be video data.

Driving this is the proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots. For example, Deloitte predicts that 25% percent of North American large retailers, situated in shopping centres, will begin offering free in-store Wi-Fi access to shoppers, with this spreading around the world in 2012. Luc Van Coppenolle, Industry Leader TMT at Deloite Belgium, indicates: "This allows shoppers to compare prices during their shopping trip. According to these retailers, this could stimulate their turnover. Wi-Fi access also allows retailers to exchange specific information with customers, when they are inside the shop."

Other drivers include increased penetration of Wi-Fi chips in portable data devices, easier hotspot log-in procedures, and partnerships between hotspot providers and mobile providers. Mobile providers should view Wi-Fi and cellular broadband as complementary and build out blended networks or partner with Wi-Fi providers in order to make the entire connected experience as seamless as possible. For companies, increased use of free hotspot access could represent major cost savings.

Television's "super media" status strengthens: in 2011 viewers around the world will watch 140 billion more hours of television

Deloitte predicts television will solidify its status as the current super media, defying prophecies of its imminent obsolescence. In 2011 viewers around the world will watch 140 billion more hours of television. Revenues from pay TV in the BRIC countries will rise by 20%. Worldwide TV advertising will increase by $10 billion and 40 million new viewers will be added, which results in 3.7 billion viewers worldwide: over 50% of the world population. TV shows will be the subject of more than a billion tweets.

Deloitte expects television to retain its leadership among all media in terms of total revenues, which include advertising sales, subscriptions, pay-per-view and license fees. In spite of the proliferation of Digital Video Recorders - DVRs, the 30-second spot won't die. While DVRs provide the technological capacity to skip ads in programs that were recorded, the majority of DVR owners are likely to continue watching most of their television live.

They'll also be "pushed". Despite the sale of tens of millions of TV sets offering built-in search capability for television programming, the vast majority of viewing will be based on the schedules determined by channel planners or via recommendation engines built into the television or set-top box. The "pulling" of television content by viewers is likely to remain an exception, and could be down to the inherently passive nature of watching television. Luc Van Coppenolle: "On top of that, television remains one of the most important drivers to stimulate the sale of other media, such as books (books published by television chefs) or other products related to television programs."

eGov will reach an inflection point in 2011: the proportion of businesses using eGov services is expected to average over 90%

Deloitte predicts e-government (eGov) usage will reach a worldwide inflection point in 2011. Across developed countries, the proportion of businesses using eGov services is expected to average over 90%, up from 75% in 2010. The proportion of citizens using eGov should rise by at least 10%. Some countries may even appoint a national Chief Information Officer.

Driven by rising demands for government efficiency and productivity, the use of online channels may increasingly be mandatory, boosting the return on investment for e-government infrastructure. Luc Van Coppenolle gives an example: "Electronic invoicing could save 0.8% of GDP annually. Expanded eGov can also improve a country's attractiveness to foreign investors and key talent, as good physical infrastructure already does".

Lack of computer literacy or online access is not an insurmountable barrier to eGov. If applications are designed to maximise accessibility, they could actually serve as an entry point to get more people to use computers and the Internet, in some cases via mobile phone.

Squeezing the electrons in: batteries don't follow Moore's Law

Battery energy density should rise, prices should fall and recharging should get quicker in 2011. But don't expect battery evolution to mimic that of computer processing power, which Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted would double every 18 months. For batteries, a mere 5% performance improvement is a good year.

A radical materials breakthrough could change this, but for now nothing seems to beat lithium. As one scientist put it, "It will be refinement of existing chemistry from now on. There are no new compounds that will give higher energy density." Making more energy-efficient devices may be easier than trying to force battery technology to adopt Moore's Law.

Keeping the life in live: music industry looks for new talent

In 2011 the live music sector, with festival organisers at the forefront, will start expanding their talent creation and nurturing roles. Until now this was largely left to music labels' artist and repertoire (A&R) divisions. But after a decade of declining sales, A&R spending is shrinking. In some countries, since 2006 it has dropped about 25% as a percentage of revenues. By contrast, the first decade of this millennium has been very prosperous for the live music industry. Revenues rose steadily and even fared relatively well during the recent recession.

Significantly, some of the last decade's biggest draws are approaching the final encore of their touring careers. For example, in 2011 the lead singers for eight of the 20 highest-grossing live acts in the US in 2000-2009 will be 60 or older. Thus, the live sector will identify, invest in, develop and commercialise the next generation of stadium-filling artists. It will use a variety of approaches, from contests at festivals to dedicated facilities for nurturing new talent. All aspects of the live music sector may get involved: venue owners, concert promoters, television production companies, ticket sales agencies and even some established recording artists.