Feature Article

September 10, 2010

Where the Communications Market is Headed

Anatoli Levine, senior director of product management and president, IMTC, of RADVISION Inc., sat down with a TMC representative to talk about the communications market and where it is headed.

Their conversation is as follows:

TMC Representative: What is the most significant trend in communications today? Why?

Levine: In my opinion, there are two most significant trends: increasing mobility and increasing acceptance of the video communications. It almost sounds funny as we constantly talk about mobile communications as upward trend, but now 4G technologies ( LTE and WiMax) becoming a practical reality, which greatly helps to get to the “world without wires”. And regarding video – finally, it becomes fully mobile and in-the-face-of-the-consumers, thanks (once again) to Apple with its FaceTime, so it seems that acceptability and demand barriers are finally broken…

TMC Representative: What is the one product or service the market is most in need of?

Levine: Tough question, as there is always more than one “thing” which we need. While not very original ? I would say that interoperability across multitude of communications technologies, standard and devices is essential. Not to convert this into a “shpil” about IMTC ( www.imtc.org) , but Introperability of the standards based technologies had being a focus on IMTC for past 16 years…

TMC Representative: When will unified communications go mainstream?

Levine: It already is – but in the islands. There are full UC solutions developed on “single provider” basis – the trick is to connect those islands and achieve truly ubiquitous UC – but some of the barriers can be political and even psychological, so I’m not sure when they will disapper.

TMC Representative: Who will win the smartphone wars? How about the tablet wars?

Levine: Someone we can’t even think of right now. The will be no single winner for a while, or may be ever. Smartphone will morph too, and it will be crossed it as “ahh, it is so ancient” – but it is not happening very soon. Tablet wars – first you need to have at least a formidable opponent to have a war, right? And Apple iPad doesn’t have one today – but it is only today…

TMC Representative: Has social media changed how you communicate with customers?

Levine:  Completely. Presenting your products on Facebook and Youtube forces you to find the way to really reach YOUR customer – you need to create following, and then you need to keep it. Your message can be heard now instantly by the millions – this is all huge advantage ( no need for multi-million dollar TV campaign), but this is also potential pitfall – if you fail to deliver the message.

TMC Representative: Nearly every phone manufacturer is now incorporating support for wideband codecs. Will we finally see widespread HD voice deployments in 2011?

Levine: Probably – but this is something which simply happens as devices get upgraded and replaced, so there will not be much noise around it.

TMC Representative: What are your thoughts on the viability of mobile video chat or conferencing?

Levine: It is extremely viable, and rapidly increasing in adaption and demand (both chat and conferencing). RADVISION, as a leader in video conferencing solutions, is making very significant efforts now in the area of the mobile video communications solutions, both for developers and for the users.

TMC Representative: Which wireless operating system (Android, iOS4, Microsoft, etc) will see the greatest success over the next three years? Why?

Levine: As it seems right now, Microsoft is out of the race. Android is winning, as an open OS, and most likely will not be challenged in the near future. iOS4 success is linked to the success of one single (great, but still one single), Apple, so it will do well as long as Apple is doing well ?

TMC Representative: Some have suggested wireless networking will soon replace wired networks in the enterprise. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Levine: It definitely will – then there is a question of when. I believe that this is closely related to the success and availability of 4G technologies, but the world will lose its wires, as I mentioned before. And why? The main function of the wire is to deliver data in reliable and predictable fashion. Today, you can’t replicate the reliability and predictability of the wired IP traffic in the Wi-Fi networks, hence limited success with cutting those wires. 4G technologies promise to solve that issue, therefore it will be very easy to make a next step and become a wireless workspace.

TMC Representative: What impact has the growth of cloud-based services had on your business?

Levine: Not anything of the particular significance at the moment.

TMC Representative: What do you think of the net neutrality debate?

Levine: I believe that Net should be equally available to all, and it is critical to enforce that for the success of the businesses and democracies alike. For anything deeper that this simple thought, we really need to talk to lawyers, and I’m sure the subject will be hotly debated at various IPEXPO and 4GWE sessions ?

TMC Representative: What is the most overhyped technology in your opinion?

Levine: Honestly not sure at the moment. A lot of things which were overhyped before become practical reality nowadays, so I don’t have any good examples.

TMC Representative: You are speaking at ITEXPO West 2010. What is your session about?

Levine: I’m speaking in the AppTime section of 4GWE in the session called “Future of Mobile Video” at 1:15 PM on Monday, October 4th. During this session we will discuss trends and challenges of making mobile video a mass phenomena, and of course will make some bold predictions ?

TMC Representative: What will attendees take away from your session?

Levine: Mobile Video landscape today is still shaping up – there is enough space for the new players there. Attendees will get a better understanding of mobile video technologies and important factors for delivering of the best mobile video solutions to the market.

TMC Representative: Please make a bold technology prediction for 2011.

Levine: This is rather a hope, not really a prediction – that IP Communications industry will sustain another economy slump which seems to be inevitable ( sorry to finish on such a minor note).

To find out more about RADIVISION, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2010. To be held Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Amir Zmora, vice president of products and marketing, is speaking during “Building Better HD Video Conferencing & Collaboration Systems” session. Don’t wait. Register now.

Erin Monda recently graduated from W.C.S.U. with a degree in professional writing. She primarily writes about network technologies, including cloud computing, virtualization and network optimization, however she also has a focus on E911 technologies and legislation.

Edited by Erin Monda

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