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CCS predictions: 5G headaches and Netflix cinemas

Global analyst firm CCS Insight has unveiled a series of thought-provoking predictions for 2019 and beyond at its annual event in Central London.

Among its more interesting media-related forecasts is that SVOD platform Netflix will open its own branded cinema by 2022, a move that will allow it to diversify and promote its catalogue and increase loyalty among subscribers by offering special screenings.

Among predictions regarding machine learning, autonomous cars and Facebook’s plans for extending its reach, CCS Insight also expects that, by 2023, unlimited data will be the default option for mobile tariffs in advanced markets.

“As the value of mobile data continues to be eroded, competitive forces pressure operators to offer all-you-can-eat data bundles in the same way voice minutes and texts are sold today. Many tariff plans include unlimited data.”

In the wireless arena, the company predicts that a “huge variation” in users’ experience of 5G in 2019/20 will result in a marketing headache. “Differing operator strategies will result in vastly different levels of performance and coverage. This will exacerbate the challenge of marketing 5G technology; it risks frustrating users as they try to compare oversimplified promises based on raw speed.”

On the voice assistant front, the company expects more activity in the enterprise market from 2019. “With Amazon’s Alexa for Business already launched and Microsoft experiencing a growing number of queries into Office 365 from Alexa users, 2019 brings formal competition in speech assistants for enterprise/workplace.”

Speech advances also mean it will be “possible to talk to almost every new connected consumer device sold in Western markets. Strong recent progress in speech recognition drives the trend, alongside greater integration with personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa.”

Biometric-based smartphone security, phones with folding screens and increasing penetration of Chinese smartphone operating systems are other key features of CCS Insight’s crystal ball gazing. Returning to bricks and mortar, the company also anticipates Amazon buying a major retailer in Europe by 2019.

CCS Insight CEO Shaun Collins said: “This year marks the biggest CCS Insight Predictions event to date. The sheer number of predictions reflects the expanding coverage of our research, from new topics like workplace collaboration and edge computing to mobile networks, devices and the Internet of things”.