Big opportunities on the horizon

Big opportunities on the horizon

Joseph Waring  |   September 12, 2012
Telecom Asia
Telstra CTO Hugh BradlowHugh Bradlow, Telstra's CTO and head of innovation, is an optimist. He is also a true tech geek who sees a convergence of technologies producing big productivity gains and a corresponding boost in economic growth.
 
The last 25 years of the past century, he says, were characterized by an enormous economic boom that was almost entirely driven by increased productivity, which came from two sets of ICT developments: the personal computer and the internet.
 "When I look forward, I can see an enormous productivity opportunity on the horizon, and I think this can be the grounds of considerable optimism going forward."
 
The reasons for this optimism, he points out, is the creation of a set of technologies that is starting to change the way we operate in this world, which he grandly describes as "the journey to omniscience and omnipresence - the ability to know everything about anything and to be connected wherever you are whenever you are".
 
He says this set of technologies, which are either here today or are developing rapidly, cover high-speed broadband, both fixed and mobile; high-quality video conferencing with collaboration; the big one, which is not quite there yet, the ability to measure anything that is subject to measurement, which means "we can optimize and control it"; "cloudification", with everything becoming a cloud service; new screen technologies, which will be a key enabling technology; and lastly, the state of augmented intelligence, the ability to enhance human creativity.
 
According to Cisco's Visual Network Index, two-thirds of internet traffic is video, and that is rising. "So everything is about real-time video. That's also true on mobile networks, but the traffic is an order of magnitude lower than on the fixed network."
 
The reason for that, he says, is because of screens. The amount of broadband needed when watching video is determined by screen technologies. "We see a whole lot of new screen technologies coming out of labs, like digital wallpaper, which literally gives you the ability to plaster an entire room with screen technologies."
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