The Future - how wireless communications will evolve over the next 20 years


January 17, 2007

January 18, 2007 Predicting the future is an essential element of most businesses – without a view of what’s likely to happen it’s difficult to make intelligent investment decisions. In Wireless Communicatons: The Future, a personal prediction by William Webb of Ofcom, Webb helps us to envisage what the communications future holds for us. With a track record of successful predictions, Webb provides a solid, clear and well-argued basis on which to make the predictions of how the wireless industry will evolve. Supported by contributions from eminent wireless experts, he discusses how the next 20 years will see a very substantial, but steady change in the way we live.

Webb points out that little new technology is needed to make us rely heavily on a single device that will manage all our professional and personal communications needs. This evolution will be based on massively enhanced services, turning the mobile phone into an organiser, entertainment device, payment device, security centre and much more.

To make this happen Webb predicts that one of the greatest changes is that broadcasting and communications will become a seamless network so that any content is available through any channel at any time. He also highlights the areas which will witness significant growth while predicting areas which won’t be so successful in the future.

Ten years ago the mobile phone was purely used for making calls. Today it is a camera, music player, organiser and texting device as well as phone. This is only the start of an evolution over the next twenty years that will turn it into our trusted and indispensable companion in life.

About the Author

Professor William Webb is Ofcom’s Head of Research and Development and Senior Technologist where he manages a team providing technical advice and performing research across all areas of its regulatory remit. Previously Webb worked for a range of communications consultancies in the UK in the fields of hardware design, computer simulation, propagations modelling, spectrum management and strategy development. He also spent three years providing strategic management across Motorola’s entire communications portfolio.

He is visiting professor at Surrey University and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of the Board of Trustees and Fellow of the IET and Senior Member of the IEEE. In addition, he sits on the judging panel of the Wall Street Journal’s “Annual Innovation Awards.”

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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