When I was at school in the Eighties, we never had cell phones. In some school exams they would not even let you have a calculator. It was in my early Twenties (late Eighties) that the first snack box sized cell phones arrived and personal computers started to become common in the office and progressively in the home. By the Nineties the computer age was dominant and fundamentally changing work and home lifestyles but we were still held back by dial-up connections and a World Wide Web that was never originally designed for such overwhelming expansion of capacity and relentless need for higher access speeds.
“One year growth = total 2010 Internet Traffic”
Nowadays we have not just cell phones, but devices that can text and surf the World Wide Web at ever increasing speeds. The explosion of Social Media has generated huge bandwidth and capacity requirements to upload and view pictures and videos that are subsequently viewed by millions on sites like You Tube. The recent popularity of streaming media such as Hulu TV and Netflix has taken the internet capacity requirements to another level leaving internet infrastructure builders scrambling to meet today’s demands and leaving little room for future viral trends. Luckily this is a process that is very well known in business called “supply and demand”. Internet capacity would never be built without the demand. It is inevitable that the internet will change and adapt exponentially.
When you apply this to the communication industry, like the internet, we have a boundless appetite for increased communication methods and bandwidth. Gone are the days of a simple voice call or post office letter. We instantly communicate via email, SMS text, chat, conference webinar and video more than ever and with the introduction of IP (internet protocol) based communications along with the need for time-sensitive delivery, all that communication is squarely placed upon……. (Yes you guessed it) the internet! Imagine going to FedEx and saying “I have all these millions of voice parcels that need to be delivered all around the world – oh and by the way they need to be all delivered simultaneously overnight without delay! – I can imagine FedEx’s response “Who do you think we are – Santa Claus”
Nevertheless, the need to communicate will continue to grow and the demand for increased capacity will not go away. The inevitable effect of this will be convergence. I believe that communications, whatever medium it may be (voice, sms, chat, email, video, etc.) will become easier and more personal to the individual. The differential between work and personal communication will merge. We will simply have a communication device such as a smart phone or tablet (or something in between) that our employer (and friends) will direct communication toward. That device will support all communication media, utilizing open protocols such as SIP. The network supporting these communications will simply be a single WAN – the internet. No more PSTN. No more telephone numbers. Our “presence” on that network will define how to contact us. In the same way we have residential addresses and business addresses, companies will also have a “presence” on this network and we will simply type that presence name into our device to communicate via whatever media is available. This is the ultimate convergence and it is inevitable that we will eventually have a single multimedia device and a single global network.
Avatel Guest Blogger – Colin Jeffs, Enterprise Sales Director
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