\More than 600 predictions were released by analysts this week in ICT industry research reports that identify a long list of trends, forecasts and estimates ranging from the top technologies for the year 2010 to growing tensions in the telecommunications industry as a result of convergence.
Analysts also predict a significant slowdown in IT spending in coming months and warn business users to beware, the next Y2K is on its way.
In 2008, telco networks will underpin digital communication, and the credit crunch will drive Asia-Pac acquisitions of global telcos with the mobile GPS industry undergoing rapid transformation.
According to Ian McCall, lead telecommunications partner for Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry group (TMT) , most of the contention in the past was around which protocols and technologies will set the scene for the foreseeable future.
However, these issues have now faded in the era of convergence where digital content is ubiquitous and the platform debates are of little consequence.
Releasing Deloitte's annual global report, Telecommunication Predictions -Trends 2008, McCall said there will continue to be skirmishes on the platform front.
"The most interesting issues facing the industry surround the emerging battle between players from the telco and media industries and the developing world and the developed. It is going to be an interesting few years of competitive tension," he added. Deloitte's Telecommunications Predictions 2008 claims telecommunication companies' share of revenues from new media is likely to be disappointing. "In Australia, telcos need to make a fundamental decision on how they should monetise the demand for new media," he said.
"There are two clear strategies in the market today: those that are staying chained to their incumbency as carriage companies and those that are transitioning into media services companies."
Stuart Johnston CEO of Eclipse, Deloitte's online advisory and implementation practice said that the development in technology with traditional media companies may also create opportunities for them to bypass telco's completely and deliver rich content. "Developments such as this are bringing media companies into the competitive landscape for telcos," he said.
While the credit crunch may put a brake on the pace of private equity driven mergers and acquisitions activity in 2008, this combined with suppressed global equity prices is presenting value acquisition opportunities for strategic buyers. "Many telcos with strong balance sheets missed the opportunity to buy cheap fundamentally sound assets in the post-tech wreck period of 2002 amd 2003,"according to McCall.