It’s hard to believe that we already have the first decade of the new millennium under our belts. In the span of ten years, a lot can happen in any given industry, especially one as in demand as telecommunications.
Earlier this month, Jim Machi, senior vice president of marketing at Dialogic elaborated on his blog about an article he wrote for Voice & Data called “Top 10 Technologies in the last decade that have Transformed the Telecom Sector.” The article is set to be published in January 2011.
In his blog entry, Machi credits the past 10 years as “the most incredible in terms of technological achievements in the telecom industry since the invention of the telephone.” Machi believes that the telecom downturn of 2001 ultimately made the telecom industry stronger overall.
The top ten technologies that have transformed the telecom sector according to Jim Machi include:
1. Advent of VoIP. True telecom and internet convergence is possible because of VoIP, spurring incredible innovation. VoIP in the enterprise and VoIP in the service provider industry is now commonplace. “Triple play” cable services in your home would not be possible unless there was VoIP. “Skyping” would not be possible unless there was VoIP. Entire swaths of industry infrastructure would not exist, including VoIP gateways which are about $1B in market size each for enterprise and service provider, session border controllers and softwitches.
2. Mobile networks through 2G, 2.5G and 3G. There will soon be the same number of cell phones on the planet as people.
3. WiFi (News - Alert) networks transform the computer to a mobile device.
4. Broadband cellular experience due to 3G+ networks transforms the mobile device from just a phone to an extension of your computer.
5. Smartphones. With more processing capability, bigger screens, increased battery life and the availability of applications and WiFi and broadband cellular, the smartphone is transforming the way people think about computing. I look at the iPad and to me, it’s a thin-client from the old days, albeit with a real compelling user interface.
6. All of the above enable “over the top service providers” such as Google and Facebook to essentially enter the telecom industry.
7. Fixed Mobile Convergence (News - Alert) emerges. This emerged in many forms, but really the first successful one was the Blackberry. Being connected to your email via a phone was truly innovative, and enabled you to get your email anywhere, anytime.
8. Mobile entertainment comes to your phone. Your phone is not just something to talk on or text with. Things like Color Ring Back Tones, interactive games and televoting have become popular Value Added Services that the industry makes money from.
9. Location-Based Services via GPS tracking. These technologies now enable new services such as location-based advertising and “family locator” applications.
10. Going back to point 1, Web APIs that enable Internet applications to much more easily handle telecom functions.
Now that we have established the major transformations in telecom over the past decade, the question remains of what can we look forward to for the next ten years?
The obvious leader to set the mold for the years to come in telecommunications is mobile video. Although not directly mentioned in Machi’s list, mobile video is the next step in advancements of telecom. Though still in the early stages of development mobile video has proved to be the latest and most popular way to view videos, especially with the increase in demand for innovative features on cell phones.
Although it is still too early to tell, you can bet that mobile video will be on the next list of top ten advancements in telecom, opening more doors down the line for further progression in the industry.
Stefanie Mosca is a Web editor for TMCnet. Previously she worked as a freelance copy editor for Digital Surgeons LLC. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University and a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of New Haven. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca