As the world begins a new decade, there are more opportunities than ever for entrepreneurs to start, grow, and monetize their ideas and enterprises.
One of the major reasons for this is the advances in technology that have benefited the small businessperson. Today, individuals can achieve what companies and conglomerates needed entire departments to accomplish not all that long ago.
And the technological improvements don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Here are a few of the buzzwords that will become increasingly common in the 2010s:
4G – You may already know that this denotes fourth-generation technology in the mobile phone and data industry. In the near future, you'll also see phrases such as 4G LTE and 4G WiMax, which are two versions of the newest advancements. So what does this mean for you? Because 4G can offer bandwidth bursts of up to 12 Mbps, devices with 4G capability will be able to send and receive video much more quickly and smoothly.
WiFi – Again, this term may not be new to you. But wireless Internet service may soon experience a sea change in how it is delivered to your company. You'll start to see more WiFi hot spots in offices replacing traditional hardwired terminal networks. The Novatel Wireless MiFi unit has launched this trend, and smartphones have already integrated this technology.
VoIP – You may be mulling whether to incorporate "voice over Internet protocol" into your home or business. This technology allows you to make phone calls anywhere in the world for pennies per minute. But in the coming years, mobile phones and devices will increasingly start to embrace VoIP – so much so that traditional "minutes" plans may even become obsolete.
Femtocells – Here's a term that you may not be familiar with. Think of a femtocell as a miniature cellphone tower that you keep on your desk. Its coverage area allows anyone in your office to make mobile calls or send text messages without worrying about dropouts. But are femtocells affordable? Most units now retail for between $50 and $100 each – perfect for many small businesses.
Of course, with all this improved technology comes more multifunctional products to fully leverage it. Here are a few of the mobile devices you'll be seeing more of very soon.
Palm Pre Plus: One of the newest smartphones that also functions as a WiFi hot spot. In addition, the Pre Plus incorporates cordless inductive battery charging capability – so you can toss out your AC charging cords.
Motorola i1: Combines the functionality of an Android smartphone with state-of-the-art push-to-talk service, making it an excellent addition for field companies like contractors and delivery firms. The audio speaker is also high-quality enough for music enjoyment as well.
Dell Aero: The first smartphone offered in the U.S. by the innovative computer maker (though it's been providing them overseas for some time). It's being marketed as a better alternative to an iPhone because it comes equipped with Adobe Flash.
HTC EVO: Trumpeted as the first device for Sprint's new 4G network. Its jumbo 4.3-inch screen provides an opportunity for improved video applications (like videoconferencing) – and it even has an 8-megapixel HD video camera too.
Are you salivating yet?
It's easy to see why entrepreneurs will continue to expand their mobile and Internet capabilities throughout the current decade. And these individuals will be able to conduct business faster and more efficiently than at anytime in the history of commerce. (That is, until 2020 comes along.)