A New Form of Telecoms Convergence?

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: Greg Scullard | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Convergence in telecoms is pretty old news. It no longer surprises us to see a mobile phone being used as a camera, a camcorder, a GPS, a music or video player…you name it—your mobile can do it. And not just in the communications sector—high-end cameras now record video, televisions and gaming consoles can browse the Internet…it seems like everything is turning into everything else. Then, just as you’re wondering if any form of technology convergence will ever surprise us again, well…let’s just say I witnessed a kind of convergence last week that took even me aback.

At TM Forum’s Team Action Week in Baltimore, a man was standing in a corner of the show floor, nothing unusual about that, except that he had a laptop wrapped around his head. At first, I thought maybe he was trying to hear if it was turned on, but no—this man was clearly having a conversation. Turned out he was on a call with a colleague using the laptop’s VoIP software; he kept his ear close to the speaker and his mouth close to the microphone nested in the screen’s hinge. This is a great example not just of the flexibility of modern devices, but of customers’ ingenuity, particularly when faced with high roaming charges, poor coverage or maybe just a dead battery in his phone. When all else failed, a two-kilo laptop and a Wi-Fi link saved the day.

PS: The man later admitted that a pair of earphones would have been helpful. Maybe he’d used them as shoe laces…

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