A good few years back (approx 7 now) I wrote an article on how I would perceive the world of telecommunication & information technology would go about convergence. Obviously then there were no free blogs available for me to put, so I hired a free web space on tripod and put the HTML pages there with my articles. Obviously I did not use the account for several years later, it appears now as ceased. So I did lose the information I hosted on the account !
Ok, now coming back to the topic of the discussions, I vaguely remember what I put in there but it was more in terms of what the telecom companies could do to make life easier for the consumer by converging the telecom offerings with web based portals. The points I (vaguely) remember now were as follows,
- Providing the web based interface for managing your phone & phone contents. – Recent example being the Microsoft MyPhone & Nokia Ovi service. I predicted earlier that the time could come when the technology will break boundaries between the device & web. Although late, I appreciate it coming now.
- Providing internet based client (aka Skype or Softphone) that you would use to call landlines / mobiles and will be charged directly to your mobile bill – I have not seen this happening as yet. Essentially what I wanted to say here was to have a PC based client that would allow call management including taking calls (while you are out of country, roaming and want to avoid incoming call charge to your phone). Imagine if your work location has changed from UK to India and you are using a Yahoo Messenger kind of software to act as a softphone in UK so all your calls to your mobile are diverted to your PC in India and you take it via internet. Does not it feel easy and really cool ?
- Single mailbox for managing your emails, phone calls, text messages, multimedia & contacts – How about consumers being given the option of managing all their emails, phone call log details, text messages & contacts at one place and having complete freedom of interoperability. You could choose to read/ write your emails on your mobile as well receive / send text messages via web interface ! Don’t you think it would be great if this could be achieved? Even better if you could do it with multiple devices. Apparently Microsoft’s Live Mesh allows similar thing, but I am unsure if it allows greater level of flexibility in managing the stuff.
There is potentially a big world out trying to put the convergence via unified messaging but there are hindrances in the way of achieving potential peak of success. Lack of universal language spoken by mobile computing & pc computing players is one of them. I hope Microsoft, who are pushing hard with their Windows phone concept will take a note of this and give us some nice good options of convergence.
But again, most of the above are dependent on the communication service provider too ! Guess players like Vodafone, Orange, O2 need to take a notice of the potential & partner with someone like Microsoft / Google or Apple to achieve the level of convergence that would help them grow as well as open a big door of convergence to the consumers.
Anyone listening there ???