Telecommunications the Accomplishments Essay

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Business Information Systems: The Telecommunications Industry

The telecommunications technology that the world thrives in today is a direct consequence of the various improvements that have been made to various telecommunication equipments developed several centuries ago. It is these past accomplishments in the field of telecommunications that provided the framework for modern telecommunications technology, which is used in almost all aspects of human life today. Businesses, education, politics, entertainment, to mention but a few, all make use of telecommunication systems. It would be prudent, therefore, to explore a number of past accomplishments in this field.

Past Accomplishments in the Field of Telecommunication

Present-day technology's history could be traced back to 1832, with Samuel Morse's invention of the wire line telegraph (FHWA, 2005). It was, however, not until 1874, that real developments in the field of telecommunications began to be realized. In that year, Alexander Bell used Morse's information transfer ideology to invent the telephone (FHWA, 2005). Morse had created a way through which humans could instantly transfer information over long distances. Bell extended this ideology, creating the ability for humans to not only transfer information instantly over long distances, but to do so using their most intimate tool -- their voices (FHWA, 2005).

The telephone concept and that of the systems with which it was designed to work was such a strong development that it, in the years that followed, sparked the need to develop an efficient network for voice communication (FHWA, 2005). The 2004 announcement by telecommunication carriers that there was "need to develop and support a network designed for the purpose of transporting digital data" sought to further develop Bell's ideology (FHWA, 2005).

Guillermo Marconi, in 1896, invented the wireless telegraph, which is the modern-day radio (FHWA, 2005). This too used wireless communication to transmit voices. The period between 1874 and 1980 saw the construction of communication networks, which were aimed at realizing economical and efficient voice transmissions (FHWA, 2005). Digital transmission and multiplexing systems "were developed to 'cram' more voice conversations into the existing copper wire communication facilities" (FHWA, 2005).

The development, in essence, of the internet took place during this period - as an ARPA project (FHWA, 2005). It made use of wireless technology to link selected research centers and universities (FHWA, 2005). Its evolution into the World Wide Web was accompanied by significant technological advancement. Governments pressured organizations to formulate strategies that would help realize improvements in the development of communication systems (FHWA, 2005).

There were a number of other significant developments during this time. First was the 1959 IC invention, which paved way for the development and low-cost "manufacture of smaller and more automated communication devices," thereby boosting the already-dynamic communications and computing technology industry (FHWA, 2005). Fiber strands began to be used as a medium for communication during this period as well (FHWA, 2005). The reorganization of AT&T, and the Supreme Court's Cater phone decision were the other significant developments (FHWA, 2005).

It was inventions and court rulings such as these that led to the increase in consumer and business demands for data and computer communication services (FHWA, 2005). By 1996, most computer networks that had been installed were "devoted to the efficient transmission of data generated by computers," but still used voice communication (FHWA, 2005). Networks that could ably support data communications began to be developed after the introduction of broadband standards. Three years into the new millennium, most locations in the U.S. had access to wireless networks though cellular phones (FHWA, 2005). The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association reported that by 2003, "there were more than 148 million wireless subscribers, and 92% were using digital service" (FHWA, 2005). More than half of the population used the internet and not less than 30% had broadband access (FHWA, 2005).

Importance of Laying this Groundwork

It is this groundwork that lays the path for developers within the communications industry today (FHWA, 2005). This groundwork gives an overview of the dynamic nature of the telecommunications industry (FHWA, 2005). The industry today, just like in the past, as has been described in the previous section, is characterized by ever-changing technologies. New models come up on an almost daily basis and any developer who wishes to survive has to live up to the trend (Kowalik, 2008).

Business models keep changing as a result of changing market forces and competitive techniques. The famous '2.0' is used to describe the fast-paced nature of communication technologies, including the internet (Kowalik, 2008).
New social networking services are rapidly giving rise to the development of new economic models, changing the way businesses are conducted, and how consumers interact. Service providers can no longer rely on plying their trade in the industry and publicizing existing industries (Kowalik, 2008).

The stage for the development of a new and rich "class of applications, user experiences, revenue streams and business models" has been set by "the emergence of all-IP broadband networks and the convergence of services over this IP infrastructure" (Kowalik, 2008).

This groundwork, therefore, sets the pace for the dynamic telecommunications industry. The innovations that are witnessed within the industry on a daily basis, and from which the end-consumer hugely benefits, are merely a continuation of the foundation laid by these past accomplishments (Kowalik, 2008).

Challenges to Telecommunications

Like is the case in all other industries, service providers within the telecommunications industry face a number of challenges. Most of these challenges stem from the largely dynamic nature of the marketplace.

Data Prioritization: It is only natural that customers value data more than voice. Customers will, therefore, always expect service providers to offer superior user experience, despite the Fact that they (service providers) are not the owners of OTT (over-the-top) services (Jacobs, 2013). With OTT players significantly rising, it is becoming extremely difficult for service providers to make profit after providing the additional bandwidth demanded by users. A possible solution to this would be; shifting "from legally voice-centric strategies to data-driven plans" (Jacobs, 2013).

Monetization of Services: It is proving impossible for service providers to disregard OTT services, especially because of the rising demand for data among customers (Jacobs, 2013). The cost of operations keeps going up. This can, however, not always be transferred to the consumer since the industry is highly competitive (Jacobs, 2013).

Brand Building: Service providers are forced to keep up with the ever-changing trends by offering new products, which better respond to customer needs than the already-existing ones (Jacobs, 2013). Customers would always go for a brand that depicts innovation. Providers are, therefore, forced to invest in the relevant intelligence so as to better understand users' wishes, and then use this info to come up with applications and models that appeal to the customer (Jacobs, 2013).

Infrastructural Leverage: With the rise in the levels of data usage, providers are forced to "examine their existing framework and make adaptations to increase flexibility and reliability when necessary" (Jacobs, 2013). This involves investing in the high-cost carrier-grade servers, M2M connectivity systems, cloud-based solutions, etc. (Jacobs, 2013).

Cost Control: Given the rate at which service roll-outs are "happening and changes taking place, operators must be sure to control the costs of the current solutions so they can invest in what's coming next" (Jacobs, 2013).

Careers that could be Useful in Overcoming the above Challenges

From the challenges above, it is quite evident that the challenges facing service providers within the telecommunications industry revolve around marketing, innovative software development, and financial concerns. Careers in these fields would therefore help companies to overcome the challenges identified in this text. Effective marketing skills would go a long way in ensuring customer loyalty. Loss of customers is one of the greatest threats facing any service provider within the telecommunications industry. Proper management of finances would help eliminate the issues that come with having to control costs, and help in the delivery of products that meet the expectations of customers in a dynamic marketplace characterized by low switching costs. Finally, software development is crucial to the designing of software and services that take advantage, in the best possible way, of gaps that competitors have not yet discovered.

Conclusion

The telecommunications industry is one of the most dynamic industries in the modern society. New models and innovative trends are a common feature of the industry. The industry has been associated with dynamism ever since its inception in the mid nineteenth century. The modern-day industry is also characterized by low switching costs, which explains why customer retention is a fundamental concern for any service provider. This, and a couple of other factors, poses serious challenges within the industry. Each service provider is forced to be responsive so as to keep up with the high levels of innovation. Essentially, this particular industry is one of the most fundamental pillars of any economy. Individuals, governments, and all other stakeholders can contribute to its success by.....

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