Predicting the big tech talking points of 2020

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It is 2020 which means another 12 months of technology trends, announcements, scandals and more. With of the talking points from last year far from over, we’ve looked at what will likely be on the front of mind for most people during 2020.

These predictions are not set in stone of course, and things can always change in a frantic industry like technology. You only need to look at the USA vs. Huawei drama which played out in 2019 as an example.

So here’s what we think people in South Africa will be talking point in 2020.

5G deployment postponed

It seemed like 2019 was the year that 5G would finally make its way to South Africa, but here we sit with only Rain offering the improved broadband standard to its customers.

As was the case 12 months ago, we’re waiting on government to make the necessary spectrum available for 5G to be deployed by local networks, and the cynics in us think we’re in for an even longer wait than expected.

With government talking up 4IR quite a bit of late, a key pillar to embracing the wave will be 5G. Here’s hoping we’re wrong on this prediction and the standard is made available promptly.

Huawei gets its mobile OS up and running

Ask any Huawei spokesperson and they’ll tell you that Android is still the operating system they favour on smartphones, but the continued tariff war between the United States and China threaten the Android ecosystem on more than just the Mate 30 series of devices.

That’s why we think Huawei will get its own mobile operating system up and running in 2020. The firm already has HarmonyOS as an IoT and smart device focused offering, and in recent months Huawei has been making a big push in attracting more developers.

For us that adds up to a mobile operating system, but whether it will be successful out of the gate is unclear. There will likely be some teething problems, but if Huawei wants to continue to be a big mobile player, and OS of its own is the next logical step.

Data will take some time to fall

A few weeks ago the Competition Commission found that local networks Vodacom and MTN were charging consumers far too much when it comes to data, much to the surprise of no one in the country.

Since then both firms have questioned the findings of the Commission, so the calls of #DataMustFall are yet to come to fruition.

Much like 5G, we’re taking a more pessimistic view when it comes to the prices of data falling anytime soon. It’s in both Vodacom and MTN’s interest to ensure it can set prices as they deem fit, so being forced to lower prices will no doubt be a drawn out process.

In the interim it may result in consumers switching to other carriers as a result.

PoPI finally comes into effect and firms scramble

We’ve spoken about and written several times regarding PoPI (Protection of Personal Information Act), which is technically not being enforced despite being outlined by regulators.

Up until now most firms that deal with data or require lists of consumer information in order to do business have been advised to ensure that they are PoPI compliant when the Act comes into effect.

We’re still no closer to knowing when that date will be, but with more firms bringing data centres to South Africa, and GDPR already taking its toll, 2020 may be the year.

[Image – Photo by Shunsuke Ono on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.