Innovations are the driving force for fundamental changes and development of future generation telecommunication networks. When considering innovations as drivers for the development of next generation telecommunication networks an important question is whether an innovative emerging technology would cause a disruption requiring fundamental change of the infrastructure or will it will only catalyze its evolution. This paper describes the major characteristics of disruptive innovations as a driving force for fundamental changes in existing telecommunications infrastructures. By analyzing the current trends in mobile communications, we reason that the emergence of new telecommunication architectures and infrastructures is inevitable. An important consideration in the analysis is the driving role of disruptive technologies for the future of telecommunications. Based on a model for evaluating the potential disruptiveness of a technology, we provide examples of some new emerging technologies in telecommunications that have the potentials to alter the telecommunication infrastructure landscape.
Wireless Personal Communications, 2014, Vol 78, Issue 3, p. 1683-1697