Augmented reality and presence are considered by Cisco as the driving forces for the evolution of telecommunications and they see themselves as service providers that accidentally sell equipment. In the future may lay holographic displays to further enhance the sense of presence. This would also require much bigger bandwidth.
The present business models for services is gone, and it is likely to be gone forever. Only 18% of the Apple’s Apps downloaded are paid (the others are offered for free). Customers are moving beyond the “network-service” provider association and see services as something independent of the network (they no longer see) and from the access, they increasingly control through their terminal (WiFi, 3G, roaming access….).
For Orange the future will be about making customer life simpler, any service delivered should be seamless from a customer point of view. There is no more such a thing as a single company leading. The world is interconnected, what one companies does affects many others. France Telecom has set up research labs around the world (small research groups) that are basically interacting with the local environment and work for integrating what’s coming up in the various areas.
For NanoQuebec president the future will be influenced to a great extent by the pervasiveness of sensors. They will provide data that in principle can influence our life. The infrastructure is there to bring these distributed data to some area able to make sense out of that.
According to the CEO of Creative Commons, Japan, the network neutrality and transparency will be driving evolution, shifting focus from network to open networks. Connectivity will be among data rather than between termination points.
Technology evolution in performance and price (affordability) is steering telecommunication in the next decade
- storage – as much as desired, 1 TB in the cell phone, 10 Tb at home
- processing – low power consumption (enabling increased performance in handheld), very low cost with printed electronics (embedding processing, interface and radio comm) lead to objects becoming part of the Internet.
- higher screen resolution 4k and beyond – enabling sense of presence
- combination of terminal, image recognition and tagging enable augmented reality
- sensors increased flexibility, self powering through scavenging, makes for ambient awareness
- autonomic systems
- massive DBs and statistical data analyses, enable new ways to make sense of the world
A low cost pervasive infrastructure offers low transaction cost to the ecosystem of independent enterprises, SMEs. This means a wealth of services being developed at the edges of the network.
The network, and the network owners, can do much more than just offering pure low cost connectivity.
The cost of transaction in service offering and management depends on connectivity cost as well as other aspects, like authentication, security, billing, regulatory framework. All of these can be offered by network providers.
But services, as such, are no more the turf of network providers. iTunes and the iPhone are a point in case. No company that I know of would have been able to deliver 85,000 apps in a year. Are they all sound, interesting apps? Of course not. But they are reaching the long tale and by doing that they are opening the marketplace bringing in more people.
Spectrum efficiency limits have been basically reached
- dense bandwidth is more needed than high speed peak performance
- need for pervasive optical infrastucture to support 10 times more cells
- this is also going to drive down energy consumption (but it does not decrease today’s consumption, simply it does not require the same kind of increase that would be required by today’s architecture)
- growth of access cells independently managed
And who is qualified to decide if a service is stupid or makes sense? We gauge, as Operators, a service based on revenues. If it does not bring large revenues to make margins we consider that service not worthwhile. People have a completely different gauging system. If they use something, than it makes sense. The more they use it the more it makes sense.
Connectivity is being commoditised, it suffers from its success. It is becoming so essential that, like bread, it is considered a right for all, not just for the wealthy or well-to-do.
Companies that have been thriving on connectivity sale are suffering and will be suffering. Making connectivity more valuable is not going to solve the problem, in a way it is likely to make it worse.
Improving connectivity country-wide requires huge investment, and the returns are not at all in line with that. Improving connectivity in a few spots can make sense from the point of view of a network provider but may not make sense country wise. Focussed investment is unlikely to create a thriving ecosystem since the ecosystem thrives in the long tale, not in the wealthy sectors that are all too well commanded by few-big corporations.
This is a challenge for the future since it takes big investment to provide unlimited communications capability at low cost and those that may have the funds are not the ones willing to use it.
Opportunities are visible by having new revenue sources. These cannot come from the present customer base that is already paying as much as they can afford and it is not looking to pay more but to get more for less.
They come from the briging of objects with the web and the willingness to pay from companies that want to use those objects as gateways to reach customers. In doing so they see an opportunity to decrease cost in the delivery chain and that frees money. Part of it can go to network providers coffres.
We are going to see in the next decade that more and more objects will be offered to the market with embedded communications, the same that is happening today with the Amazon Kindle.
People will take for granted that an object is connected to service and information. They will not know, nor care, how this connectivity is made possible, nor who is the network provider ensuring the connectivity.
This embedded connectivity will change the way we look at and use objects.
More than that it is going to create a biz ecosystem around each type of object, something that is very difficult to predict before hand in its characteristics but that can easily be envisaged in general terms.