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Connections for the Digital Age: Multimedia Communications for Mobile, Nomadic and Fixed Devices by E. Bryan Carne

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7

Future Networks and Services

Major communications corporations are attempting to become fully-featured multimedia companies able to serve mobile, nomadic, and fixed terminals. Their priorities are higher and higher speed digital channels (principally over wireless, cable or optical fibers), convenient access to Internet and specialist content providers, and service anywhere, at any time, over any compatible terminal, with proprietary apps that can draw traffic away from competitors. From time to time, the notion of a single communication network that would provide multimedia services for all subscribers has been advanced. However, network convergence is not that easy. (Convergence is the action of several elements coming together in a single focus.) The goal of a common network core is plausible, but the seamless combination of a common access network and many different terminals is unlikely. It is made even less likely because personal preferences differ and cannot be amalgamated to a single format. Video on a hand-held, wireless-driven smartphone may satisfy some, but it will never be the same as HD (or 3D) television on a large flatscreen receiver connected to cable or fiber; music on a smartphone will never evoke the total human experience of the cacophony of a heavy metal concert, or the range of sounds of a symphony orchestra. Within limits, however, it may be possible to provide similar contents to fixed, nomadic, and mobile terminals so that a convergence of services ...

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