What is convergence? Since its inception, the term has referred to the unification of voice and data traffic over a common infrastructure.
But today, it’s not just cell phones, PCs and PDAs that are being connected. More and more business and consumer applications are connecting to networks to increase communications capabilities, resulting in entirely new and different types of devices — such as Amazon’s Kindle e-book system, as well as cars, home appliances, medical equipment, cameras, industrial machinery and anything with an embedded radio-frequency ID (RFID) sensor.
Further, more and more companies are accepting and adopting fourth-generation (4G) wireless technologies, while the ever-growing demand for bandwidth is ushering in 40-Gig and, soon, 100-Gig optical networks. Meanwhile, unified communications is replacing Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as the new paradigm for enterprise-wide communications.
This hyperconnectivity — defined as the state reached when the number of nodes and applications connected to the network exceeds the number of people connected — is quickly revolutionizing the global information workforce. A recent IDC study sponsored by Nortel found that 16 percent of companies worldwide are hyperconnected, and another 36 percent are poised to join them.
Most important, however, this unprecedented level of multidisciplinary convergence carries with it tremendous opportunity. There’s the possibility for increased revenues for carriers, heightened productivity for enterprises and a better communications experience for all. Ultimately, it promises to bring new solutions and technologies that will revolutionize the end-user experience and forever change…
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