The telecommunications industry is entering a period of massive development and change, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report Technology Forecast: 1999. The speed of development is expected to mirror the change that the computing industry has undergone over the last 30 years.
The report forecasts accelerated technology innovation leading to a revolution in the sphere of business. Underpinning and guiding this change is the widespread deregulation of the telecommunications industry. David Henderson, PwC IT strategy leader predicts: “A wave of deregulation is underway in virtually every corner of the globe … this will spearhead a surge of new entrants, new alliances and emergence of niche players.”
Increasing use of the Internet is also seen as a major bringer of change in the industry, according to Henderson. “With Internet traffic doubling every 100 days it is thought that the volume of data being carried over the world’s telecoms infrastructure will exceed that of voice.”
The report predicts a number of innovations that will transform the telecoms market. It is thought there will be an emergence of four of five global super carriers by the year 2002, with about 4,000 regional niche players.
PricewaterhouseCoopers believes that consumer confidence in Internet security technologies will increase too, paving the way for electronic commerce to become an integral part of many business.
Dr Hagen Hultzsch, a member of the board of management of Deutsche Telekom, and featured in the report, believes that the increased transmission of information will have positive benefits on the way we conduct our lives.
Hultzsch predicts more electronic banking, greater videoconferencing and virtual reality use and improved healthcare services; for example, a specialist could transmit an X-ray to a specialist and receive a second opinion while the patient waits.
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