It’s New Year’s Eve, which traditionally is the time that people make resolutions for the coming year. I’m not one of them, mostly because I never keep my resolutions, at least not beyond the first week. I suppose that’s because I’m too set in my ways at this point in my life to change in any significant manner.

The dawn of a new year also is a time when people get out their crystal balls and attempt to predict what will transpire in the coming 12 months. Of course, that’s something of a fool’s errand, one that reminds me of the old adage, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” No one has any real idea as to what is going to unfold, but we prognosticate anyway. The editors here at Urgent Communications are no different than the rest of the populace in this regard, as we annually succumb to this temptation in our annual industry forecast. In case you missed our predictions for 2012, which originally appeared in our December 2011, cover story, here they are again:

· Congress will reallocate the D Block and provide funding for the nationwide network — but not as much as public safety hopes.
· Federal lawmakers will continue to ignore wireless 911 fund piracy.
· Federal lawmakers will continue to ignore 911 funding issues.
· Public safety answering points from coast to coast will find it increasingly difficult to maintain basic operations.
· Americans will continue to abuse the 911 system.
· The U.S.-Mexico rebanding treaty finally will be realized — because a new administration arrives in 2013, which could push negotiations back to square one if it isn’t wrapped up next year.
· Tens of millions of grant dollars from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) will be returned because recipients couldn’t get their projects off the ground.
· More municipalities will embrace citizen engagement.
· Leaders will begin to emerge in the LTE space.
· Tablets will make a bigger entrance into the enterprise as complementary devices and as devices that replace the laptop.
· Device security will come to the forefront with more highly publicized breaches.

We also shared our thoughts regarding what we’d like to see happen next year:

· Mobile application developers place a heavy focus on vertical markets.
· Significantly more public-private partnerships, as entities on both sides of the equation cope with having to do more with less.
· The U.S. and Mexico finally enter into an 800 MHz rebanding treaty.
· Congress finally reallocate the 700 MHz D Block to public safety.
· Congress provide adequate funding for the national wireless broadband network for first responders.
· Congress provide adequate funding for next-generation 911.
· Congress stop states once and for all from raiding wireless 911 funds.
· State legislatures enact laws to severely punish those who abuse the 911 system.
· Congress and state legislatures enact stronger cybersecurity laws.
· Deployment of more intelligent transportation systems.
· Enterprises making mobility a more seamless integration within their IT departments.
· Windows 8 make an impact on the tablet market with functionality that can make such devices a viable alternative to laptops (e.g., iPad is limited right now because of a lack of Flash support).

How will it all turn out? As I wrote above, it’s anybody’s guess—and I emphasize the word “guess.” I think that the only truly safe prediction is that 2012 is going to be another wild and crazy year when it comes to communications for the public-safety and enterprise sectors.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.