by December 4, 2007 0 comments



As we talk of globalization, the economy boom, etc, we often ignore an
important element that’s contributing to its success–Communication. Today,
thanks to the number of communications technologies that are available, nothing
seems too far or unreachable. Data Communication via various means be it
broadband, wireless, optical fiber, etc have added a new dimension to the way we
communicate.

Why is it HOT?
When it comes to data communication, there’s only one constant— change. On
a day to day basis millions of data bytes are exchanged globally. So there is a
constant exploration for newer, faster and better technologies. Over the years
many technological landmarks have been achieved enabling faster and reliable
communication. The development in the field of broadband, Wi-Fi, WiMax and
Wideband CDMA are a few such examples. Broadband has a huge market both in
corporate and commercial sectors. It has almost completely wiped out dial up
Internet. With the government extending its full support to service providers,
even remote villages will be connected via broadband in the coming future. The
demand for high speed connectivity has prompted the government and service
providers to think beyond the current 2 Mbps or 4 Mbps speed, as speed is one
factor that has slowed the growth in this segment.

The story so far:
  • WiMAX was successfully launched and
    tested.
  • Unified Communications have become the
    norm in large enterprises.
  • Notebooks were launched with in-built
    chipsets supporting 802.11n draft.
  • VOIP brought about reduction of costs in
    international calls.
  • The policies and spectrum for 3G are yet
    to be decided.

There are major developments taking place in wireless and mobile
communications as well. The popularity of Internet contributed toward the demand
for faster and better communication media. Several applications have been
developed for the Internet that requires high speed connectivity, hence
increasing the demand for broadband. Laptops have completely transformed mobile
computing and given people the option to carry their work anywhere and
everywhere, which has invariably given Wi-Fi a completely new market. CDMA shook
the mobile market, EDGE/GPRS brought Internet on the cell phones making mobile
Internet a common phenomenon. All these and more together fueled the tremendous
growth in data communications.

The arrival of WiMAX will make
wireless broadband a reality and enable people to access Net anywhere at
high speeds

So far so good
In the last few years a lot of new technologies were developed that
revolutionized the current IT scenario. IP telephony created a huge roar and
changed entirely the way organizations communicate and have transformed the
business landscape. Unified Communications have started to gain foothold in
large enterprises while VOIP has become an integral part of BPOs. The success of
all these technologies are somewhere correlated to the advancement of broadband.

The standardization of Wi-Fi in all notebooks was a huge revolution in itself
and this year we saw notebooks with built-in support for 802.11n draft standard.
This will enable them to access Internet via WiFi at a much enhanced speed.
WiMAX also saw its early days this year, indicative of its earlier than expected
arrival. Most companies are keeping a close eye on WiMAX for last mile
connectivity at a high data rate. Its arrival might lower the price of making
broadband available in remote areas.

One of the technologies that was talked about a lot but didn’t quite find its
way in 2007 is 10 Gigabit Ethernet; which provides 10 times faster connectivity
than Gigabit Ethernet. Well it’s still early days, but chances of this
technology becoming more prevalent in the next two years are very much there.

IPv6 also saw light of the day and it impacted by bringing about a large
address space that allows greater flexibility in assigning addresses that
eliminates the need of a Network address translator (NAT).

In mobile communications, even though the tussle for 3G continues, policies
are far from decided yet. But chances of seeing it sooner than later are very
bright. CDMA and EDGE gained importance as the demand for mobile Internet gained
amongst corporate executives. This year we have seen Wi-Fi being integrated with
almost all PDAs and smart phones, adding a new dimension to the way Internet is
accessed from mobile. Bluetooth also found new life through mobile devices and
has become one of the most important connectivity options for mobile devices.

The Road ahead
The future looks bright as many technological developments are still taking
place. Broadband will be very hot in the next few years and the hunger for more
and more bandwidth has already prompted a huge demand to increase the speed from
2Mbps or 4Mbps to about 20Mbps like in Japan and Korea. There is already talk
about 100 Gigabit Ethernet being researched upon and it might soon make an
appearance in global markets. The demand for more and more bandwidth has
prompted to think beyond 10 Gigabit, but 10 Gigabit Ethernet is a very strong
contender in the near future and is bound to gain momentum. With many vendors
planning to include 10G port in their switches and routers, we might see 10
Gigabit coming soon.


Future Predictions
  • 100 Gigabit Ethernet might be a reality in
    years to come.
  • WiMAX will be implemented on a large
    scale.
  • Notebooks and mobile phones will come with
    built in support for WiMAX.
  • Broadband speeds in remote areas to be
    increased up to 4 Mbps and plans to take it up to 20Mbps.
  • Ultra Mobile Broadband will add a new
    dimension to mobile Internet.
  • Broadband user base to reach 20 million in
    the coming years.

WiMAX will be a real boon in the field of data communications, making
broadband readily available even in remote places. There are already talks about
developing in-built chipsets for notebooks that will support WiMAX. Mobile WiMAX
is also on cards as the demand for high speed Internet access via mobile devices
gains popularity with each passing day. Ultra Mobile Broadband is a project that
can improve the CDMA 2000 mobile phone standard for next generation applications
and requirements. This is being developed to deliver IP based voice, multimedia,
broadband, information technology, entertainment and others at an economical
cost.

3G too might find its way into the Indian spectrum, though 4G has already
been debated on. So we might just bypass 3G and enjoy the benefits of 4G
directly. In the near future, mobile devices, be it a notebook or a cell phone
will have all the connectivity options available for effective data
communication. Wireless connectivity will be the norm and we will see much more
development in this field than in the wired field.

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