The telecom industry is used to dealing with terms such as late next year and in trials and in the not-too-distant future. Brave new telecom worlds constantly are being imagined in boardrooms across the world. For the attendees of TELECOM 05, the future is finally now: Exhibitors are showcasing whats next in wireless convergence, content, IP communications and enhanced applications, to help companies grow their share of profits now.
The United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) expects nearly 7,000 people for the show, representing a fresh range of attendees to what will be the last TELECOM 05 show. More international attendees, representatives from top cable companies, a deeper range of buyers that includes provisioning and customer-facing executives and others have expanded the demographics on the floor.
This show brings all segments of the communications industry together in one place, and the consensus is very positive, says John Abel, senior vice president of membership, marketing and business development at USTelecom. There has been such a dramatic change recently, especially from 2001 where the outlook was dismal and people didnt know if they were going to survive. Our show floor demonstrates that there are fresh business opportunities in whats here now and whats around the corner, with several hot areas like IP communications and broadband network evolution.
Imagine the future prospect of one phone that travels with an individual, seamlessly switching from home network to cellular service to Wi-Fi at the office. This much-discussed scenario will be prevalent on the show floor as vendors show off wireless network integration approaches. Also, fixed-mobile convergence continues apace, and also will be a hot opportunity this year for service providers, Abel says.
Speaking of Wi-Fi, it will be available throughout the conferences. In addition, Cisco Systems Inc. is hosting a special Wi-Fi café in the expo hall.
Another hot topic that once sounded like science fiction is IPTV and other broadband-delivered IP applications. VoIP, broadband video, content and other applications key to the converged future will be on display. Attendees also will find an exhibitor focus on the underlying optical networking required for converged apps, advances in set-top boxes, satellite-delivered aggregated content that requires no headend, and migration strategies for going all-IP.
Timely trends garnering attention throughout the exhibits are network management, disaster recovery and security. Because of the Katrina disaster and other potential vulnerabilities down the line, the whole notion of managing other peoples networks has become a huge topic, Abel says. “There is a large opportunity for telecom companies to manage networks, particularly for small and medium businesses that cant recover quickly from a disaster on their own, like law offices or medical firms.
For all the real-time opportunities afforded by Telecom 05, the fall event will be replaced by an annual TelecomNEXT, with the inaugural show slated for March 19-23 in Las Vegas. The move represents the growth and evolution of telecom from a service-silo industry to a world where the telecom and entertainment future is indeed now. TelecomNEXT, Abel says, will take the message of Telecom 05 further, with a focus on converged communications and the way telecom affects work and play.
This weeks show is where the capex deals are forged, where the buyers attend and where new technology is hands-on, he says. TelecomNEXT will take that to a whole new level.