There are several big changes on the horizon that are going to really impact cellular networks. One change is transformational, one solves some local network issues and the third, and probably the least important one will get all of the press.
The transformational change is that the technology is being developed that will allow the industry to centralize the brains and the computing functions of the network. Today there are nearly 200,000 cell phone towers in the US and each cell phone tower requires a full set of switching electronics. Much of the smarts of the cellular network is done at these cell sites. That makes the cellular network somewhat unique in that most other types of networks have been able to centralize the brains and computing power of the network into hubs rather than to leave everything on the edge.