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Homepage / Inside Peter / Questions & Answers

What kind of future do you imagine we are facing?
"Our ability to generate information and transport it about the planet on super highways of optical fibre is changing the way in which we communicate, work and live. There is not a single aspect of our lives that has gone untouched by the communication and computing revolution that is now upon us. As the pace of change gathers it will become clear that it will overshadow the impact of the printed word, industrial revolution, and physical transport."

How should we view this future, and increasingly virtual, world?
"The next major wave of IT development must focus on the delivery of information and experience on demand, in the right form, at the right time, at the right price to fixed or mobile terminals anywhere. Ultimately, bandwidth, distance and time will no longer be significant cost elements as service and access become the dominant features of the changing demands of an information and experience focused society."

What will be the significant features of that future?
"Mega-trends in the development of future technologies and their falling cost, deployment and application include:

  • business becoming more virtual, international and dispersed
  • people becoming more nomadic through mobile and wearable terminals
  • healthcare being revolutionised through telepresense for the delivery of remote diagnosis and expertise
  • education being enhanced by information storage, on screen experience and collaboration over greater distances
  • everyday experiences such as shopping augmented by electronic terminals and trading
  • the ultimate demise for the need to travel"

If you had to bet on delivering a mobile or a multimedia future, which would you choose?
"Both- eventually at the same time!"

You are regarded as promoting technology above everything else. But won't the important aspects of the communications and information future be determined by sociology, psychology and economics (or even politics)? If this is so, how can you be so sure that technology can deliver what is needed?
"It always does. Politicians come and go - but the technology is forever - it has a life of its own. Sociology and economics are driven by technology - eg the printing press, radio, tv and the pc. They all changed the economy and the way we live!"

Is there something we have missed - one crucial development - that will be obvious in 10 or 20 years time but which now is considered irrelevant or marginal?

"Artificial life"

Do telcos have to start thinking about alliances with content providers?
"No - but they ought to think about information about information! That is where the new business is!!"

Is there any reason for telcos to do fundamental R&D; any more?

What product and service portfolio and expertise will a telco need to compete in 5 years time?
"On line everything they can!"