Virtualised network functions, software defined radio, will drive ultra-fast communications: Broadband Forum
Bangalore, October 5 2015: It's uncanny how fact can sometimes mimic fiction. Thirteen years after Steven Spielberg's futuristic, 'Minority report', so many of the technologies in that Tom Cruise-starrer, have become a reality: multi-touch screens, motion sensing phones, retina scanners, e-paper, insect-sized robots, face recognizing billboards.
Broadband is the buckle which binds all these technologies and delivers them to millions of users worldwide. And 2015 looks like being the year when the last speed blocks are removed and India joins the global race towards broadband-enhanced living.
Consider: all major Indian mobile providers have announced 4G services. The number of mobile phones in use has just crossed 1 billion. One in four Indians has access to the Internet.
We don't have another Spielberg film to second-guess the future -- but last week in Munich, Germany at the Gigabit Europe conference, the Broadband Forum, the nodal agency driving broadband solutions worldwide, stepped into the breach and presented a 20:20 vision of a hyper-connected world by the year 2020 and what it holds out for us.
At home, hotel or hotspot, we can expect ultra fast Net connections that reach us by a combo of wired and wireless paths. Regardless of the device we use -- PC, laptop, tablet, TV or phone -- we can access the same service anytime, anywhere. 4G will soon become history as a ten-times-faster 5G becomes standard.
And -- something that Indians keen on paisa vasool or money's worth, will app-reciate: the bills for all the customised tools we use on our phones will come not from the mobile service provider who adds his service charge, but from the app itself -- in homoeopathic doses that we can control.|
We will increasingly talk, with anyone in the world as we see each other, through Skype-like video calling mostly for free, while the corporates will continue to pay for such services from Cisco, WebEx or Citrix.
On its part, industry will go the virtual way: After storage, and servers moved to the cloud, the push is to virtualise network functions. After Software Defined Radio (SDN), the new mantra that is expected to set the pace for broadband growth, is Network Function Virtualisation (NFN).
"This is an era of enormous bandwidth demand", Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh and Strategic Marketing Director Mark Fishburn told IndiaTech Online in a special rtelephonic briefing from London, "We are completely neutral about the technologies that will get us there. We have embarked on a new challenge, a new opportunity and in fact, the chance to create a whole new world of communications.”
Different nations have chosen different routes to a broadband future. We have to wait and see if India's chosen path will lead us most swiftly, painlessly to telecom nirvana.
- Anand Parthasarathy
For a reality check on how India compares with her South Asian
neighbours when it comes to Internet rollout, read our recent report on the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & UNESCO-sponsored
study by the Broadband Commission on the ‘State of Broadband’ 2015