2006 Outlook for Internet and Communications Industries

MIVA, Inc. announced that Seb Bishop, director and chief marketing officer, and founder of Espotting - the Company that launched search marketing in Europe - has revealed his opinions and outlooks for the Internet and communications industries for 2006.

In 2006, Mr. Bishop sees the following trends:
- Wi-Max - The dawn of citywide wireless broadband - Wi-Max is Wi-Fi on steroids. In 2006, Mr. Bishop sees the evolution of a reality where individuals in cities around the globe are able to instantly access a high speed Web connection via PC or mobile device. In 2006 Mr. Bishop sees the trend growing with the evolution of citywide Wi-Max networks with a 30 mile radius. These networks could fundamentally change the way consumers interact with both brands and each other.
- 2006 could see the end of call charges in their current incarnation - With citywide Wi-Max around the corner and broadband penetration continuing to increase across the country, Voice over IP (VoIP) should start to reach critical mass in 2006, both via computers and mobile phones. With free calls from one VoIP user to another, monthly call charges may well become a thing of the past. A totally new business model for voice services could emerge based on mobile VoIP. VoIP could also open up new ways for companies to interact with potential customers online. VoIP links could appear throughout Web sites and in online ads enabling consumers to speak directly to companies at the click of a button. This convergence of Web and telephony could result in a richer and even more interactive online experience. What's more, advertisers won't need a website to market themselves online as business leads could be delivered over the phone. This could help drive further growth in the online ad market particularly amongst SMEs, a trend already evident following the launch of Pay-Per-Call Ads in the UK.
- Hybrid Mobile Phones will go on sale - According to Mr. Bishop, the days of being outside mobile network coverage are numbered, with hybrid mobile phones on the horizon. This next generation of mobile could automatically switch between the standard mobile signal and any Wi-Fi or Wi-Max network that is available. This could not only significantly increase network coverage, but also the connection speed from mobile phones. Combine this with enhanced mobile processors and improved visual displays through organic screens and small projectors, which are expected to be on the market in 2006, and the gap between mobile and PC should begin to close. Mobile could well become the platform of choice in the future.
- 'Naked News' launches on mobile - In the next 12 months, Mr. Bishop sees the likely introduction of more video style mobile content in the form of news programs viewed via mobile by people in transit or viral video clips circulated between friends and colleagues.
- The rise of Search Communities - Community search could enable users to browse the Web from within a walled garden comprising just the favorite sites and blogs of friends, family and colleagues. The premise being that like-minded people are interested in like-minded content, so search results could become more personalized and relevant. People may create these search communities themselves, populating them with personalized comments and reviews. Community search is here now, but Mr. Bishop believes 2006 is the year it is likely to truly capture the consumer imagination.
- People will have one charger not three - In 2006, the iPod could be dead. Not the brand, just the device as we know it. Mr. Bishop sees stand-alone MP3 players becoming a thing of the past, replaced by multi-functional devices from which users will be able to play music, surf the Web, send emails and take ultra high quality pictures, along with making phone calls, of course. In 2006, Mr. Bishop sees one device, not three, in every individual's pocket.
- 2006, the year the publishing industry will fight back - The major portals are posing an increasing threat to traditional offline publishers, stealing not only ad spend, but also users. Companies like Google and Yahoo! generate revenue by selling ads on certain publishers' Web sites; they then use that revenue to develop products and content which take users away from those publishers. Take Google News for example, which is now one of the top news sites in the world. Just think of it in terms of offline publishing - would you ever see The New York Times selling The Wall Street Journal's advertising? The answer is no.

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