by March 1, 2001 0 comments

Imagine yourself going for a movie, to the races, and the shop where you
usually order weekly groceries, simultaneously. All this, while you’re on a
train en route to home after a hectic day at work. Is this a scene from a latest
Hollywood blockbuster? Is it Arthur C Clarke’s 2020? Believe it or not, it’s
now and it’s here, thanks to broadband.

Here’s how broadband fits into our lives.

Enabling convergence

Increasingly, all forms of electronic information–telephony, data traffic,
and TV and radio–are being converted into digital format, making it possible
for a single network to handle all of them. Also, there’s a continuing demand
to transport more information, more quickly. The result is a need for
communication links with huge bandwidth. Broadband is a possible answer.

Broad connectivity options

High-speed Internet access and Remote LAN access are just the beginning of
broadband. Other applications that will be made possible include
videoconferencing, desk-to-desk video, interactive CAD, and collaborative
working. 3G wireless networks (based on broadband) will lead to applications
such as mobile multimedia, mobile videoconferencing, etc.

Service providers will be able to provide demand-based differentiated
services such as Internet access combined with voice and video on demand to
customers, and in turn benefit from improved revenues. Demand-based services
will allow users to choose the bandwidth they require.

Here’s how broadband wireless networks will provide solutions.

Disaster control and management The Gujarat earthquake
is a case in point of where broadband wireless networks could have been
deployed. Ad hoc wireless broadband networks would have come in handy in Gujarat
when all means of communication failed, especially for sending multimedia
information. This could be online help from a surgeon to a medic who’s
providing aid to disaster victims; or schedules, distribution plans, and remote
monitoring of relief material.

Military and defence Wireless broadband networks would
enable military to exchange multimedia information while on the move. In many
tactical scenarios, the effective use of these networks may become the
difference between victory and defeat.

Mobile videoconferencing For the busy business
managers of the future and for telecommuting workers operating from anywhere,
wireless broadband data communication may become a great asset.

Remote monitoring of industrial plants Engineers can
monitor industrial plants right from their mobile handset, rather than go to the
plant or its monitoring station.

As you can see, broadband access can lead to more useful
applications for end users and new revenue generation models for network
operators providing broadband services.

Venugopal S and Navneet Bhushan, Comfactory, SETLabs, Infosys

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