2012 predictions: Three corporate affairs director Hugh Davies

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Smartphone adoption will approach a tipping point, according to Three corporate affairs director Hugh Davies, so it will be more important for networks to continue to upgrade their networks in order to meet the demand

“This year will see smartphone adoption approach 100 per cent and decisions will be made regarding spectrum that will determine the choice and experience of smartphone users for decades to come.

“Data will more than ever be the crucial differentiator for consumers and with average data usage still rising and handsets becoming more data hungry, network operators will have to continue upgrading and improving their networks to meet surging demand.

“Ultimately, though, what the industry really needs is a fresh injection of spectrum. Additional spectrum will enable networks to increase capacity and coverage and to begin to roll out new technology such as LTE.

“It is now more than a year since Ofcom was given permission by the government to sell off more of this valuable public resource, but we are all still waiting. In the meantime the UK continues to fall behind the rest of Europe in bringing to market the next generation of mobile technology.

“Another big issue affecting the mobile market this year is the setting of data roaming rates by the European Commission, potentially for the next 10 years.”

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