Top 10 Predictions
2017 Top Ten Predictions

inCode was one of the first in the industry to do an annual “Top Ten”.  The first set of predictions were made in 2003 and since then it has been an annual tradition at inCode. Our predictions are primarily focused on North America, but have global implications. This year’s 2017 predictions cover key industry trends such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Outdoor Small Cells, Virtual Reality Gaming and the status of Mergers and Acquisitions across TMT.

“Hot” Technologies like AI, VR and Voice Enablement Will Gain Critical Mass

Automation in various forms takes a big leap in 2017 with many technologies moving past the hype cycle and into mainstream products and services. The vast amount of data that is generated by various applications requires timely processing and analytics, thus driving network function virtualization, enhanced security, optimized data center and content distribution, and mobile edge computing needs.

Capacity Demand Continues to Drive Network Densification

For several years, outdoor and public venue small cells have appeared to be on the cusp of breakout expansion without realizing the expectation. In 2017, the explosion in small cell deployment seems to be real, fueled by new business models that combine with continued spectrum constraints and the need for more network capacity. The emergence of new, shared spectrum solutions including neutral host applications, unlicensed band LTE and/or supplemental downlink solutions add significant impetus for going small.

Regulatory will be Much Cloudier Before it Becomes Clear

The regulatory landscape in the U.S. in 2017 will likely be the most unpredictable we have seen in many years, if ever. The electorate has made its voice very clear about the need for changing how government operates. The political environment is much more fractured, making it hard to determine which coalitions will form over what issues. A change in Presidential administration with consequent changes to the FCC always creates some degree of upheaval, but this time around it seems magnified. The future regulatory direction of topics like mergers and acquisitions, net neutrality, privacy, and security are uncertain and will likely delay certain actions and create some unexpected consequences to industry players.