TMT Predictions 2022

While the chip shortage continues, pandemic-fueled digital connectivity to wellness, sports, and enterprise explodes 

This year’s 19 predictions, spanning six categories, highlight how trends in Technology, Media & Telecommunications may affect businesses and consumers worldwide.

The future is here

The trends this year are largely being driven by the global pandemic’s economic and societal shifts, resulting in a more connected and multi-device world, fueling the world’s need for more chips, growth in connectivity, and how more aspects of our daily lives are becoming intrinsically linked to a digital world, whether it be wellness or sports. The collection also looks at shining new opportunities that are emerging despite the pandemic.

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All about screens

The games console: Fitter than ever at 50

There’s no midlife slump for the video games console market. Content, experience, and business-model innovations are keeping it competitive.

The games console ecosystem celebrates its fiftieth year in robust health: record revenues, a slate of latest-generation devices, and a strong foundation for further growth. Deloitte predicts that consoles will generate US$81 billion in 2022, up 10% from 2021. Revenues per console player will average US$92. This compares to US$23 per PC gamer and US$50 per mobile gamer. 

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Addressable TV ads: Targeting for reach

Addressable TV advertising can deliver targeted TV ads to different households—but its best use may be to extend reach, not to differentiate messages.

Addressable enables different TV ads to be shown to different households watching the same programme. However, its growth will likely depend on the degree it is used to extend the reach of major ad campaigns, that is, showing the same ad to as many viewers as possible within a market. As linear viewing recedes in most markets, addressable tech will be increasingly important in maintaining and growing reach by inserting TV ads across multiple video platforms. 

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Traditional TV wanes: Television is about to dip below half of all video viewing in the UK 

TV’s viewership decline in the United Kingdom’s bellwether market heralds a new era for the video content ecosystem.

Deloitte predicts that 2022 will be the final year that traditional television from broadcasters (live, time-shifted, or on-demand) collectively makes up more than 50% of video viewing on all screens. Traditional TV broadcasters’ share of viewing hours among UK consumers, which was 73% in 2017, to fall to 53% in 2022 and then to 49% in 2023. The UK’s trends are likely to foretell those in dozens of other markets with a similar composition of providers.

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As the world churns: The streaming wars go global

Subscription video-on-demand providers’ pursuit of global viewers is igniting competition and catalyzing SVOD churn. Customizing business model by market may be key to success.

Deloitte predicts that at least 150 million paid subscriptions to streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services will be cancelled worldwide in 2022, with churn rates of up to 30% per market. The better news is that overall, more subscriptions will be added than cancelled, the average number of subscriptions per person will rise, and, in markets with the highest churn, many of those cancelling may resubscribe to a service that they had previously left.  

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All chips, all the time

My kingdom for a chip: The semiconductor shortage extends into 2022

Consumers, industry, and government are clamoring for chips, and the semiconductor industry is scrambling to keep up.

Deloitte predicts that many types of chips will still be in short supply throughout 2022, with some lead times stretching into 2023. This means that that the shortage will have lasted 24 months and had a cumulative economic impact of over US$500 billion. Chip companies are spending over US$200 billion to build new plants, and governments over US$100B to build more local plants … but it takes a couple of years to build a new plant. Plan accordingly. 

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Upping the ante: Venture capital investment in chip companies reaches new highs

As VCs push gigadollars to fabless semiconductors startups, the innovation ecosystem is the sure winner.

Deloitte predicts that VC firms globally will invest more than US$6 billion in semiconductor companies in 2022, down slightly from 2021. Much of this investment will likely go toward companies in China. The world needs new, innovative, energy-efficient, private, secure, fast, smart, open, cheap (you get the idea) chips, and many billions of VC dollars will help make them possible. High valuations for IPOs, SPACs, and corporate M&A make investing in chips start-ups more attractive than ever: Dollars per deal have tripled in the last two years.

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RISC-y business: Could open chip standard RISC-V gain traction against dominant incumbents?

The open-source chip architecture offers lower costs and greater access, but its future in the marketplace is anything but certain.

RISC-V (pronounced “risk five”) is an open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) for chip designs. Deloitte predicts that RISC-V market will double in size in 2022 measured by the number of processing cores, surpassing US$500 million in revenues. ISAs are at the heart of billions of chips per year, and the market is dominated by just two players. A third option would be a big deal, especially in China, which could be shut out by sanctions or embargos.

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Making connections

Fixed wireless access: Gaining ground on wired broadband

FWA may play a key role in making the internet more widely available while offering telcos new revenue, growth, and innovation opportunities. 

The economics and performance of FWA, which uses radio waves to deliver internet service, are finally becoming competitive with wired internet services. With more government funding and regulators viewing wireless as an acceptable alternative to wired connections, more operators are considering FWA, especially the 5G version, for delivering broadband internet services. Deloitte predicts that the number of FWA connections will grow from about 60 million in 2020 to roughly 88 million in 2022.

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Wi-Fi 6: Unsung, underexposed—and indispensable to the future of enterprise connectivity

The next generation of Wi-Fi is set to play a pivotal role as organizations innovate with advanced networking.

Wi-Fi 6 devices are quietly outselling 5G devices by a large margin, and will likely continue to do so for the next few years at least. Deloitte predicts that more Wi-Fi 6 devices will ship in 2022 than 5G devices, to the tune of at least 2.5 billion Wi-Fi 6 devices versus roughly 1.5 billion 5G devices. As 5G’s essential partner in advanced wireless solutions, Wi-Fi 6 will be increasingly central to realising the benefits that organisations are pursuing through next-generation connectivity.

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Health care anywhere

Wearable technology in health care: Getting better all the time

Smartwatches and wearable medical devices help people monitor their health 24/7. Their impact could increase if doctors trust their utility and people feel their data is secure.

Deloitte predicts that sales of consumer health and wellness wearable devices, such as smart watches and medical-grade wearable “smart patches,” will grow to over 320 million units in 2022. New technology advances are supercharging wearables’ usefulness for both consumers and health professionals. Headwinds include the devices’ novelty, doctor skepticism around utility and accuracy, and privacy, security, and regulatory concerns.

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Mental health goes mobile: The mental health app market will keep on growing

Mental health care needs are pressing around the world. Apps can deliver support on demand and on the go.

Deloitte predicts that global spending on mobile mental health applications will reach close to US$500 million in 2022. That’s assuming an annual growth rate of 20%—a conservative figure, considering the 32% growth these apps enjoyed, from US$203 million to US$269 million, from the first 10 months of 2019 to the same period in 2020. This growth is impressive given that many emotional and mental wellbeing apps are free or low-cost.

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Green and diverse

Making smartphones sustainable: Live long and greener

Lengthening phone lifetimes would reduce the environmental impact of smartphones. 

Deloitte predicts that the global base of 4.5 billion smartphones will generate 146 million tons of CO2 or equivalent emissions (CO2e) in 2022. The bulk (83%) of emissions will come from the manufacture, shipping, and first-year usage of the 1.4 billion new smartphones expected to be shipped in 2022. As manufacturing accounts for almost all of a smartphone’s carbon footprint, the single biggest factor that could reduce a smartphone’s carbon footprint is to extend its expected lifetime. 

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Floatovoltaics enters the renewable energy mix: Floating solar panels are now commercially viable

Asia-Pacific is taking the lead in deploying floating photovoltaic arrays as the technology advances and its economics improve.

Places that don’t have enough land to build large solar arrays can build them on water instead. Deloitte predicts that the aggregate installed capacity of floating photovoltaics (FPVs) will reach 5.2 gigawatts peak (GWp) globally by the end of 2022. TMT companies can use FPVs as a part of their overall clean energy purchases to supply energy to their operations worldwide. Tech companies also have opportunities to help businesses plan, develop, deploy, maintain, and monitor FPV projects. 

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The gender gap in reading: Boy meets book, boy loses book, boy never gets book back

Why do boys and men read fewer books, and less often, than girls and women?

Partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world are reading more print books, e-books, and audiobooks than ever before. However, boys and men are—and historically have been—less drawn to this activity, a trend that has persisted despite global illiteracy impacting women more than men. In the coming year and beyond, Deloitte predicts that boys and men in almost every country will continue to spend less time reading books, and read them less frequently, than girls and women. 

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Women in the tech industry: Gaining ground, but facing new headwinds

Technology companies should renew their commitment to advancing gender diversity in tech as the pandemic recedes.

The technology industry, or at least its largest players, will likely continue to close the gender gap in the year ahead. Deloitte predicts that large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022, up slightly more than 2 percentage points from 2019. While this progress is a step in the right direction, the pandemic has added new challenges to persistent issues, and tech companies may need to work even harder to improve these numbers in the future.

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New and next

From trading cards to digital video: Sports NFTs kick sports memorabilia into the digital age

The chance for fans to acquire, not just view, licensed digital media of their favorite sports moments will likely cement non-fungible tokens’ place in the sports content marketplace.

Deloitte predicts that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) for sports media will generate more than US$2 billion in transactions in 2022, double the 2021 volume. NFTs allow acquirement and use rights to be demonstrated for any piece of digital content by assigning the content a specific, non-duplicable identifier that is recorded on a distributed database, or blockchain. They facilitate the migration of age-old collecting behaviours to a digital, screen-centric world.

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Keeping AI private: Homomorphic encryption and federated learning can safeguard AI data

These technologies for safeguarding data used in AI applications are available and effective. The challenge is to make them more practical.

Homomorphic encryption and federated learning are important privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs), and Deloitte predicts that the combined HE and FL market will top US$250 million in 2022 and US$500 million by 2025. HE allows machine learning to use data while still encrypted, and FL distributes machine learning to local or edge devices rather than in the cloud. Who needs to worry the most about using PETs? Cloud users and providers, especially in sensitive areas such as health care, finance, and public sector. 

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Quantum computing in 2022: Newsful, but how useful?

The future of quantum computing isn’t quite here yet. But that doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t prepare.

Deloitte predicts that quantum computing metrics such as quantum bits and quantum volumes will advance in 2022, although the market is niche. Quantum computing hardware, software, and services revenue will total less than US$500 million, less than either the quantum communication or quantum sensing markets. One day, quantum computers will be useful and generate billions of dollars annually, though that won’t be for years. 

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AIs wide shut: AI regulation gets (even more) serious

AI in 2022 will face intensifying regulatory scrutiny, with implications that resonate across industries.

AI in 2022 is much more powerful than it was only five years ago, but regulators have concerns about AI’s implications for fairness, bias, discrimination, diversity, and privacy. Proposals to regulate AI more systematically are in the works in the European Union, China, the United States and others in 2022, although enforcement is unlikely until 2023 or beyond. Regulating AI is necessary, but it is also very hard. There will be different approaches, and they may conflict. 

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