Claire Jolly, head of TMT at Deloitte in the North West
The technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice business advisory firm, Deloitte, has announced its predictions for the TMT sector in 2018.
Deloitte predicts that globally, one billion air passenger journeys – a quarter of all passengers – are expected to be on planes fitted with in-flight connectivity (IFC) in 2018. This is a 20% increase from the previous year.
While IFC has been available for many years in markets such as North America, it should be more popular and lucrative than ever in 2018, thanks to the rising number of routes covered, higher connection speeds and greater data capacity per flight. This trend implies that within a few years, the airplane may no longer be one of the last remaining connectivity-free zones – in any part of the world.
Claire Jolly, head of TMT at Deloitte in the North West, said: “For three-quarters of air travellers at present, being on a plane means disconnection from the world, whether or not they want that.
“In 2018, the airline industry will commence a significant step-change. Newer aircraft and improved telecommunications technology will mean that connectivity will not only improve, but it will also become cheaper. As a result, IFC is likely to become standard, enabling travelers to work, interact with social media and surf the web from 35,000ft in the air.”
Deloitte also predicts that demand for paid-for online media content will continue to grow. 2018 will see 350 million digital-only subscribers globally, with around 580 million subscriptions to services that can include video on demand, music, gaming or news and magazines. In the UK, Deloitte estimates there are about 26 million media online-only subscriptions.
Jolly said: “The subscription model is not new but it is being continually refreshed and refined in order to meet the demands of the digital consumer, with great success. The increasing popularity of digital-only subscriptions is clear evidence that consumers are willing to pay for online content, whether that be music, TV or film, rather than rely on more traditional ad-funded media.
“The growing capability of online delivery – from robust and scalable hosting to rapid broadband speeds – is making digital media more convenient, accessible and ever more compelling than traditional alternatives.”
The firm predicts that a surge in deployment of FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) - will be a core driver in the use of machine learning in the coming year. FPGAs and ASICs will represent between a quarter and a third of all machine learning chips deployed.
David Halstead, lead partner for technology at Deloitte, commented: “The rise in use of FPGAs and ASICs should dramatically increase the role of machine learning, which has previously been reliant on the often slower or more power hungry GPU chips (graphics processing units).”
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