Why the top 11 predictions of 2010 as opposed to the top 10, like everyone else? “Because it goes to 11.” As any fan of Spinal Tap will know, that classic line about why the volume controls on their instruments worked on a scale of 1 to 11 sums it up — because, well, it goes to 11.

I caution calling these predictions. As readers of this blog know, I travel around the world quite a bit and write about what I see going on. I simply looked back at all my notes for trends that might come to the fore in 2010. So this represents my view of the top 11 of those kinds of things that I’m focused on.

  1. More IMS-type networks. I do not mean IMS as per the 3GPP spec when I say this. I’m using the IMS term very loosely to mean IP networks in general. This means more IP infrastructure in the core, as this lowers capex and opex for the operators long term. I would put LTE and WiMax into this camp. This might seem obvious for many readers, but we’ve been hearing about IMS for a long time and I just think 2010 will be the time for this. 2009 was a time of spending on only what was required, and during that time a lot of architecture inspection was occurring. And with the huge stress on operator revenues with over-the-top applications, any capex/opex savings will be critical.
  2. More mobile video. Everywhere around the world, due to the advent of 3G networks, I see an incredible amount of interest in utilizing video on the mobile devices. We’ll see mobile value added services being deployed more frequently in 2010.
  3. More carriers putting bandwidth limitations on the “all you can eat” models. With more 3G, more IP and more video, I think this will have to happen to serve the many who utilize the bandwidth a few times — or a few times every hour — during the day. The few who do a lot more than that will likely have to pay more.
  4. More mobile advertising. We do not find this strange anymore when we go to the Internet. When we go to the Internet on our mobile phones, why shouldn’t we also see advertising?
  5. More mobile commerce/mobile banking. I see a lot of our customer base creating IVVR mobile commerce applications. I remember the initial reluctance to do commerce over the Internet with a laptop. How did Amazon do this holiday season? Why not take this one step further and do it from a mobile device? The security concerns will also be allayed here.
  6. More emphasis on the user experience for the mobile video solutions. Those in the U.S. have already started seeing this with the AT&T ads saying you can “surf the Web and talk at the same time.” Probably just the beginning.
  7. More integration of “voice” with Web 2.0 apps. We saw some of this in 2009, but we’ll see more in 2010.
  8. More mainstream use of HD voice. Readers of this blog know I’ve been talking about HD voice in 2009, but as I travel and talk to customers, prospects, and others in our ecosystem, I see that this technology is still in its infancy. You’ll be seeing and hearing more of it in 2010.
  9. More clouds. More cloud apps. More enterprises utilizing cloud computing solutions.
  10. More uncertainties about the economy. Don’t just assume the economy will get better. We saw an uptick in stock prices in 2009 that most of us wouldn’t have predicted at the end of 2008, but don’t assume that everything is OK. The real test will be when the stimulus programs end — will we see an economic blip?
  11. I can’t see the Mets winning. I could see it this time last year, but I can’t see it at all now. I do, however, see them utilizing more in-game mobile phone promotions, like SMS voting in the middle of the games.