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September 09, 2010

An Engineer's Opinion on Communication Trends

As the ITEXPO West 2010 Show grows tremendously with new attendees registering every day, TMC is prepping by getting the latest news in industry trends from the experts themselves. Binod P.G., senior staff engineer at Sun Microsystems let us in on the important recent movements, needs, and wants of the communications industry discussing the smartphone war, how social media affects communications developments, and various operating systems.

As part of Oracle's (News - Alert) product strategy, Sun Microsystems’ server and operating system provides flexibility and customizable options to customers along the IT infrastructure. Oracle's multiple operating-system options give customers premium system availability, scalability, and cost efficiency with the incorporation of Sun’s server. Check out what is new in the ITEXPO front with CEO Rich Tehrani’s updates, and see the full exchange below:

TMC: What is the most significant trend in communications today? Why?

BPG: Consumers freedom to choose content providers different from the wireless bandwidth provider is a noteworthy trend. With 3G and LTE (News - Alert), consumers gets wider choice of content (yes, I am counting IP communication as content) providers on the existing bandwidth and infrastructure providers. To be clear, content includes traditional web content, IP telephony, video delivery etc.

TMC: What is the one product or service the market is most in need of?

BPG: A standard-based end-to-end service creation environment for converged communication services. Given that converged communications involve delivering multiple types of content, there is a risk of using technologies that don't interoperate to deliver the services. This could lead to services that are monolithic and inflexible. We need to take the standardization to the next level from just defining the protocols and protocol interaction to defining the programming interfaces.

TMC: When will unified communications go mainstream?

BPG: I see that already happening in some way. Integrated communication services have already started becoming popular. Once Federation of SIP technology becomes easier, Unified Communications (News - Alert) would reach right in the front.

TMC: Who will win the smartphone wars? Tablet wars?

BPG: I think there will be number of devices (whether we call it smartphone or tablet or something else) with varying form factors, which will reach the consumers in the coming months and years. It is likely that consumers are likely to own a set of devices that would suit their needs....... So, there won't be a single winner. (I do thank Apple and Amazon to actually ignite proliferation of such devices.)

TMC: Has social media changed how you communicate with customers?

BPG: When was the last time a product announcement did not make it to Twitter? So, yes, it does change the modes of communication. However I see it as a complementary to existing modes of communications. There is still a lot of value in putting things in “black and white.”

TMC: Nearly every phone manufacturer is now incorporating support for wideband codecs.  Will we finally see widespread HD voice deployments in 2011?

BPG: Not at all. It would take much longer to become widespread.

TMC: What are your thoughts on the viability of mobile video chat or conferencing?

BPG: Of course it will pose challenges on the bandwidth, but ultimately the industry will be able to cope with that.

TMC: Which wireless operating system (Android, iOS4, Microsoft (News - Alert), etc) will see the greatest success over the next three years?  Why?

BPG: It should be Android. Not only because it is open source, but also because Google (News - Alert) itself is not actively pursuing a device of its own. That makes Android an acceptable technology for other device vendors.

TMC: Some have suggested wireless networking will soon replace wired networks in the enterprise.  Do you agree? Why or why not?

BPG: In the enterprise? No. I think wired networks are still superior enough in performance, quality and security.

TMC: What do you think of the net neutrality debate?

BPG: Personally I think this is something that should be solved by regulatory authorities. Corporations like Google worry about discrimination only when it affects their business. But the debate itself is very much needed since it brings the whole issue to the public notice. Discrimination or ability to discriminate exist at many categories of corporations that use Internet. Both content providers and bandwidth providers would be able to discriminate at some stage or other. So, it is necessary to come up with a comprehensive law that suits each country's cultural and political needs to ensure fair usage of internet to all.

TMC: What is the most overhyped technology in your opinion?

BPG: Augmented Reality. I think a technology gets widely used, when it contributes significantly to solving a common enough a problem in a simple enough way. However I don't see Augmented Reality crossing that mark soon. 

TMC: You are speaking at ITEXPO West 2010.  What is your session about?

BPG: The programming model available for SIP is still very low-level in nature, where the programmers need to deal with lower-level protocols like SIP Servlets or JAIN SIP. In this session, I will explain capabilities of a converged application framework (like SailFin CAFE) and how SIP technology can be used to provide communications capabilities to web applications. Frameworks would play a big role in rapid development of converged web 2.0 communication mash-ups in the future.

TMC: What will attendees take away from your session?

BPG: The attendees will get detailed information on how to use converged frameworks to create communication enabled websites and services.

TMC: Please make a bold technology prediction for 2011.

BPG: Ultimately I expect tablet computers to reach a consumer segment who are not traditional PC users. 2011 will see a significant momentum in this direction.

To find out more about Binod P.G. and Sun Microsystems, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2010. To be held Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Don’t wait. Register now.


Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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