As mobile usage in the developed countries moves rapidly from voice to applications, the level of call processing in the network must increase correspondingly. Applications such as video and navigation require hundreds of times more data than voice, and the network’s processing capabilities must be upgraded to handle it. Yet choices now being made about 4G infrastructures will significantly impact operators’ ability to scale processing power as needed.
As someone who's been in and around the telecom industry for a long time, you can appreciate the kinds of changes I’ve seen over the years. At its basic level, we've gone from a world of monopoly fixed line service providers, to a de-regulated one where CLECs temporarily roamed, to the fragmented mobile-centric/Internet-centric business of today, where players like Amazon and Google and innovative device companies like Apple and RIM lead the way.
The EU has mandated that member states introduce smart metering in homes and businesses by 2020, to understand and monitor energy consumption with the aim of reducing usage, and ensuring reliability of supply.
Today's communications world is not your grandfather's, or even your father's, communications world. What we used to call telecom is now a much broader industry that encompasses entertainment, Internet and web-based media and services and much more. And communications has been quickly converging with the IT world, which has necessitated a rethinking of how we approach a business architecture for the present day.
If you’ve been reading my columns with any regularity, you’ll know that even though I’ve been in the communications business longer than I might care to admit, I’d like to think I’m still pretty connected when it comes to new technologies, new services and new ways of doing business.
With bated breath, the world waited on pins and needles at the end of January for the latest and greatest invention from Apple. Speculation was high that Steve Jobs would roll out a tablet computer, but once he unveiled the iPad and people finished oohing and aahing over the thin form factor, big screen and compatibility with iTunes and the App Store, the real scrutiny began.
Messaging and SMS are not typically considered major sources of bottlenecks or capacity management issues. But the diversity of networks that support messaging and growing competition over high-use subscribers may force operators to consider near-term investments in their network stacks to protect the long-term investment they already have.
When Tekelec recently published its white paper, "MM3.0: the Future of Messaging," it challenged service providers to consider requirements evolving through 3GPP, and to be prepared for these challenges.
So here we are in a brand new decade; in many ways, escaping from the “Noughties” won’t be all bad for the communications industry. After all, we weathered the telecom freeze in the early 2000s, which decimated the ranks of telecom equipment makers, forced consolidation among some carriers and increased regulatory actions in many parts of the world.