#2 My 1993 predictions for 2003 – hah!

The Importance of Data and Multimedia.

After looking at my 1992 forecasts for 2003 for Traditional Telephony: Advanced Services in #1 My 1993 predictions for 2003 – hah! let’s look at Importance of Data and Multimedia. I’ll mark the things I got right in green, things I got wrong in red and maybe right in orange.

The public network operators have still not written down all their 64kbit/s switching networks, but all now have the capability of transporting integrated data in the form of voice, image, data, and video. At least 50% of the LAN-originated ATM packets carried by the public operators is non-voice traffic. Video traffic such as video mail, video telephone calls, and multimedia is common. Information delivered to the home, business, and individuals while on the move is managed by advanced network services integrated with customers’ equipment whether that be a simple telephone, smart telephone, PC, or PDA.

Well it’s certainly the case that carriers have still not written off their 64kbit/s switching networks and I guess this will take several decades more to happen! Video is still not that common, but with the advent of YouTube and Joost, maybe video nirvana is just around the corner. I’m not sure that we have seen advanced network services embedded in devices either! However, on consideration maybe Wi-Fi fits the prediction rather nicely?

Most public operators are now not only transporting video but also delivering and originating information, business video, and entertainment services. Telecommunications operators have strong alliances or joint ventures with information providers (IPs), software houses, and equipment manufacturers, as it is now realised that none by themselves can succeed or can invest sufficient skills and capital to succeed alone. Telecommunications operators have developed strong software skills to support these new businesses. Many staff, who were previously working in the computer industry, have now moved to the new sunrise companies of telecommunications.

Telecommunication operators have not really developed strong software skills from the perspective of developing applications themselves, but they have certainly embraced integration! The last prediction was interesting as it could be said that it pertained to the Internet bubble where many telecommunications staff moved to the telecoms industry from the computing industry. However, they were forced to leave just as rapidly when the bubble burst!

  • the network should be able to store the required information
  • the network should have the capability to transfer and switch multiple media instead of just voice
  • multimedia network services need to be integrated with desktop equipment to form a seamless feature-rich application
  • rapidly changing customer requirements means that operators should be able to reduce the new product development cycle and launch products quickly and effectively, ahead of competition; being proactive instead of reactive to competitive moves would offer a considerable edge.

Information storage on the network is pretty much of a reality when you consider on-line back-up storage services, though it has hardly been pervasive. Few are generally willing to pay for on-line storage when hard disk prices have been plummeting while their capacities have been exploding.

But, what I think I had in mind was the storage of information in the network that was then held (and still is) on personal computers and also network-based productivity tools. This has happened in a variety of ways

  • The rise and fall of Application Service Providers in the bubble
  • The success of certain network-based such as SalesForce.com
  • The recent interest in pushing network-based productivity tools by the large media companies such as Google and Yahoo.

The comment about converged networks is still a theme in progress, but the integration between network-based services and desktop equipment is certainly the pretty much the norm these days with the Internet.

This is a mixed bag of success really and seems really dated in its language. This shows just how the Internet has truly transformed our view of network based data services.

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