The Tide is Turning for Mobile Operators in 2020

(This article originally appeared on Forbes).

The year 2020 has a ring to it. Those stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams will laugh to learn that past future gazers predicted that by 2020 people would have flying cars and even telepathy! Turns out most people would just be delighted to have a hassle-free journey. And while waiting on delayed trains, planes and automobiles, they would rather have seamless access to their favorite content.

It is always amusing to look back at predictions that haven’t quite materialized. For instance, Gilbert Rhode, a product designer in 1939, predicted that hats would have antennas by 2020 for “snatching radio out of the ether.”

While the prediction about antenna hats is not too far off from wearables, the prediction was spot on about the fundamental importance of wireless, which is in the ether all around us. It impacts economies, lifestyles and our society, and it’s set to play an even bigger role in 2020.

In 2019, after all the hype, 5G finally started to show up. And arguably, two of the most significant developments in 2019 — the launch of Disney + and Google’s cloud gaming debut with Stadia — could have profound implications for the next decade.

So, with a tip of the virtual hat to dreamers like Gilbert Rhode, here are three predictions that could impact both mobile operators and subscribers.

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