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As we wish goodbye to 2016, we already know that 2017 is going to be quite a wild year. From Donald Trump’s presidency to big mergers expect a lot of shakeup in the wireless industry- for better or for worse.
1. Zero Rating will be a Thing
Zero-rating is the process of setting a specific service or product, such as YouTube videos, and saying that a particular service doesn’t count towards your data allotment. You may be thinking this all sounds familiar. You’re right because not so long ago, many tech companies were fighting to create net neutrality rules that prevented this. But then At&t started zero-rating it’s new DirecTV Now service.
This means that At&t customers can stream as much video from DirecTV Now as they want without burning through their data limits. The FCC smelled something fishy and accused AT&T of violating net neutrality rules by doing this. However, Trump’s FCC appointees will most likely dismantle those net neutrality rules creating little resistance to companies looking to zero-rate specific services.
2. Video Throttling
While video throttling seemed to be a thing of the past, in 2016, more carriers moved towards limited unlimited plans that throttled video streaming quality to 480p (DVD quality). Other carriers like At&t have announced they will be adding this feature in 2017. With the fear of net neutrality nearly gone, expect this to become the new norm. On the upside, this can generally mean cheaper data plans for everyone.
3. Mergers Everywhere!
During President Obama’s administration, many mergers such as the 2014 proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile and the 2011 At&t T-Mobile merger were shot down. However, Trump has already shown criticism of the FCC’s net neutrality stance. Instead, his administration is more open to mergers. This could, in turn, mean big mergers between carriers, carriers, and cable providers, and other players in the wireless internet field will be passed without any problems.
4. Drones Will Take Off
In 2016 it seemed like the biggest buzzword was drones. It was one of the top Christmas gifts of 2016. We also heard about companies like Amazon gearing up to deliver packages with Amazon Prime Air Drones. However, what we didn’t hear so much about was that the short-range WiFi and Bluetooth signals used today wouldn’t cut it for long-distance drones. Instead, they’ll need high-speed cellular service to communicate with their controllers.
At&t and Verizon have already created partnerships with long-range drone component companies, but the industry is generally waiting on 5G networks.
5. 5G Networks Will … Be Closer to Reality
Well, sort of. We’ve been hearing a lot of 5G phone service for a long time now. In 2017 carriers will actively be testing their 5G networks in select markets with select phones. This means by the end of 2017. You could be one of a lucky handful of Americans who can test out 5G as a replacement to your traditional home broadband line.
You can rest assured that US Mobile is working adamantly to ensure that you get the best cellphone service possible by figuring out how much data you really need and explaining how to save data we have you covered.