TECH TALK: Next-Generation Networks: Next-Generation Services

All of the new next-generation networks that are being built promise to dramatically change the way we live and work. They will usher in the era of convergence which has been talked about for long, but is finally at hand. These networks will also help emerging markets like India leapfrog to a better digital infrastructure quickly. Given that this networking platform will become available, what are the new applications that will become part of our lives?

One approach is to look at the changes is through the three screens that are part of our lives: TV, computers and mobiles. Network TV is becoming networked TV. As Esther Dyson wrote in a recent Release 1.0 report:over the next decade, as a growing number of television sets, PCs and mobile devices are connected to what Jeremy Allaire, the founder of Brightcove, has dubbed the Internet of video. Plugging TV into IP rather than into a terrestrial cable system or a fleet of geosynchronous satellites, could redeem – or at least reinvigorate – the medium. The hermetically sealed world of television is about to be cracked open and rewired, transformed into an open publishing platform as a variety of new devices and services emerge to make independent video content easier – and perhaps even profitable – to produce and distribute to smaller subsets of the population.

There is a shift happening around the PC platform also. Bob Cringely wrote recently: Microsoft has known for a long time that the PC as a platform is dying. The trends it sees for successor technologies are clear: mobility and gaming. Mobility means some combination of a handheld computer and a mobile phone. Gaming means xBox 360 and all that it can be — a game system, a home media platform, a more-than-rudimentary Internet device and home PCAfter a decade of messing around, thin client computing is almost inevitable for businesses. Not only are existing computers too darned hard to service, support, and keep virus-free, but all the new legal requirements for protecting and preserving corporate data (Sarbanes Oxley, HIPAA, GLBA, FERC and so many others) pretty much demand some central data repository.

Mobiles are becoming uber-all devices capable of playing not just music but also video. In fact, they will go much beyond that as two-way, multimedia teleputers which are always available. Nokias vision for the future lays out what we can expect. [2004 was phone as camera….2005] is the year of music — the cell phone as a sort of iPod, capable of downloading, saving and playing thousands of songs. 2006 will be the year of television on your mobile telephone. 2007 will be the year for games on the phone and the capability to play them against other phone users. 2008 will be the year of “my connected life,” when the years-old dream of cell phones that are Internet terminals will finally become a widespread reality, writes Media Info Center.

All of these three screens will rely on next-generation networks. The much-talked about converged world is at hand. The opportunity is to now look at the new services that these networks and complementary devices will enable. We will look at two such ideas Folk TV and Mirror Worlds.

Tomorrow: FolkTV

TECH TALK Next-Generation Networks+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.