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Mobile phone predictions for 2012 - The Mobile Phone Network is moving on with its predictions as to what we might be seeing in the mobile phone and related device world, during 2012.

This week, we are publishing what will likely be arriving in new mobile phones and mobile devices that will have everyone talking in 2012, along with attracting new purchases of these products.

Earlier on, we covered NFC and how it will become more prevalent in phones this year. This was along with quad core processing coming to mobiles and tablets, whilst we will be seeing a new version of the Android OS, the BlackBerry platform and two Windows Phone 7 variations.

Mobile broadband speeds

2011 saw a number of mobile phones supporting the HSPA+ standard, along with mobile phone networks upgrading their equipment to cope with such devices. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy S II flagship handset was one of the first mass market phones to arrive with the standard built-in, by default.

The mobile phone network Three UK started to upgrade their network to HSPA+, early last year - along with aiming at the have 80-percent of the network completed, by the end of December. This mobile broadband specification can theoretically delivery web surfing speeds of 21Mbps, where their customers have been quoted to already experience speeds in excess of 10Mbps. The network also produced a mobile broadband dongle supporting this standard, plus a standalone MIFI device which can access HSPA+.

We predict that more mobile phone networks will have thoroughly adopted HSPA+ in 2012, where mobile phone and tablet manufacturers will be including this ability as default - just as 3G is now commonplace.


4G networks began to be trialled in the UK last year, with both Everything Everywhere and O2 starting to test out the new mobile broadband standard. The LTE capability offers up download speeds as high as 100mbps, where O2 began trials as early as March 2011 in Berkshire and then moved on to an active pilot scheme in London with real customers.

Everything Everywhere teamed up with BT to provide a 4G LTE service to a town in Cornwall, with 200 residents selected to become a part of the testing. This is with a view to see if the mobile broadband standard could benefit rural areas, where good fixed-line broadband can hardly reach. If successful, this alone could to be another angle for the 4G network, by delivering very high-speed internet access that is usually only available in larger towns, and to much more rural places.

We predict 2012 will have 4G LTE hitting the headlines much more within the UK, with both the progress of these trials along with the actual spectrum range being auctioned off. Ofcom, the governing body for communications in England, will be selling these licenses to mobile phone network companies during this year. We doubt that we will be seeing handsets in 2012 with the LTE 4G standard in the UK, but we will be hearing more about mobile phone makers' plans for the future of this feature.