The Internet in the Countries in Transition

Written by Sam Vaknin

Thoughrepparttar countries in transition are far from being an homogeneous lot, there are a few denominators common to their Internet experience hitherto:

1. Internet invasion

The penetration ofrepparttar 133580 Internet inrepparttar 133581 countries in transition varies from country to country - but is still very low even by European standards, not to mention by American ones. This had to do withrepparttar 133582 lack of infrastructure,repparttar 133583 prohibitive cost of services, an extortionist pricing structure, computer illiteracy and luddism (computer phobia). Societies inrepparttar 133584 countries in transition are inert (and most of them, conservative or traditionalist) - following years of central mis-planning. The Internet (and computers) are perceived by many as threatening - mainly because they are part of a technological upheaval which makes people redundant.

2. The rumour mill

All manner of instant messaging - mainlyrepparttar 133585 earlier versions of IRC - played an important role in enhancing social cohesion and exchanging uncensored information. As in other parts ofrepparttar 133586 world -repparttar 133587 Internet was first used to communicate: IRC, MIRC e-mail and e-mail fora were - and to a large extent, are - allrepparttar 133588 rage.

The IRC was (and is) used mainly to exchange political views and news and to engage in inter-personal interactions. The media in countries in transition is notoriously unreliable. Decades of official indoctrination and propaganda left people reading between (real or imaginary) lines. Rumours and gossip always substituted for news andrepparttar 133589 Internet was well suited to become a prime channel of dissemination of conspiracy theories, malicious libel, hearsay and eyewitness accounts. Instant messaging services also led to an increase inrepparttar 133590 number (though not necessarily inrepparttar 133591 quality) of interactions betweenrepparttar 133592 users - from dating torepparttar 133593 provision of services,repparttar 133594 Internet was enthusiastically adopted by a generation of alienated youth, isolated fromrepparttar 133595 world by official doctrine and from each other by paranoia fostered byrepparttar 133596 political regime. The Internet exposed its users torepparttar 133597 west, to other models of existence where trust and collaboration play a major role. It increaserepparttar 133598 quantity of interaction between them. It fostered a sense of identity and community. The Internet is not ubiquitous inrepparttar 133599 countries in transition and, therefore, its impact is very limited. It had no discernible effect on how governments work in this region. Even inrepparttar 133600 USA it is just starting to effect political processes and be integrated in them.

The Internet encouraged entrepreneurship and aspirations of social mobility. Very much like mobile telephony - which allowedrepparttar 133601 countries in transition to skip massive investments in outdated technologies -repparttar 133602 Internet was perceived to be a shortcut to prosperity. Its decentralized channels of distribution, global penetration, "rags to riches" ethos and dizzying rate of innovation - attractedrepparttar 133603 young and creative. Many decided to become software developers and establish local version of "Silicon Valley" orrepparttar 133604 flourishing software industry in India. Anti virus software was developed in Russia, web design services in former Yugoslavia, e-media inrepparttar 133605 Czech Republic and so on. But this isrepparttar 133606 reserve of a minuscule part of society. E-commerce, for instance, is a long way off (though m-commerce might be sooner in countries likerepparttar 133607 Czech Republic orrepparttar 133608 Baltic).

E-commerce isrepparttar 133609 natural culmination of a process. You need to have a rich computer infrastructure, a functioning telecommunications network, cheap access torepparttar 133610 Internet, computer literacy, inability to postpone gratification, a philosophy of consumerism and, finally, a modicum of trust betweenrepparttar 133611 players inrepparttar 133612 economy. The countries in transition lack all ofrepparttar 133613 above. Most of them are not even aware thatrepparttar 133614 Internet exists and what it can do for them. Penetration rates, number of computers per household, number of phone lines per household,repparttar 133615 reliability ofrepparttar 133616 telecommunications infrastructure andrepparttar 133617 number of Internet users at home (and at work)- are all dismally low. Onrepparttar 133618 other hand,repparttar 133619 cost of accessingrepparttar 133620 net is still prohibitively high. It would be a wild exaggeration to callrepparttar 133621 budding Internet enterprises inrepparttar 133622 countries in transition - "industries". There are isolated cases of success, that's all. They sprang in response to local demand, expanded internationally on rare occasions and, onrepparttar 133623 whole remained pretty confined to their locale. There was no agreement between countries and entrepreneurs who will develop what. It was purely haphazard.

3G Technology – Promises and Challenges

Written by Colin Ong TS


Imagine a situation where you are about to make an important Sales Presentation. You realize that you have broughtrepparttar wrong presentation slides and you call up your colleague. She immediately emailsrepparttar 133579 file to your 3G terminal and you transfer it to your laptop. Another scenario is having video-conferencing and sending character-based messages simultaneously with your clients. With 3G,repparttar 133580 possibilities for wireless applications are numerous. For instance, imagine calling up a map in your car, conducting a video conference over wireless phones, checking e-mails, and browsingrepparttar 133581 web - wirelessly.

3G Defined

3G stands forrepparttar 133582 third generation of wireless communication technology andrepparttar 133583 industry direction are to raise speeds from 9.5K to 2M bit/sec. According to, devices will fall into four categories. The first category includesrepparttar 133584 basic 3G phones will be used mainly for talking and will store all their information onrepparttar 133585 network. The second category will support video-streaming, and will providerepparttar 133586 user with news and web content. More sophisticated models will be information centres which let users download information fromrepparttar 133587 Internet and store data onrepparttar 133588 device.

A recent initiative by four leading handset manufacturers–Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Siemens–plusrepparttar 133589 messaging companies CMG, Comverse and Logica was motivated byrepparttar 133590 launch of 3G. The companies hope to create awareness and foster development of multimedia messaging service (MMS) by making audio, video, photographs and other images to accessible to handsets.

3G andrepparttar 133591 Growth ofrepparttar 133592 Wireless Mobile Market

The wireless mobile market is set to explode and this will provide fresh graduates with exciting job opportunities. According to Will Daugherty’s The Growth of Wireless Mobile in Business 2.0, there will be 3 waves of mobile data services. The first wave is linked wireless access to existing information and data applications. The current second wave takes advantage of wireless-specific functionality. The third wave will bring rich graphics, video, real-time multiplayer games.

Don Tapscott has been quoted “Mobile commerce isrepparttar 133593 next stage of e-commerce, where we haverepparttar 133594 integration ofrepparttar 133595 physical world withrepparttar 133596 digital world…What we ’re talking here isrepparttar 133597 beginning of pervasive and ubiquitous computing where billions and billions of inert objects become Internet appliances - enablingrepparttar 133598 sharing of knowledge andrepparttar 133599 delivery of a vast new array of services.”

Need more convincing and statistics?

According torepparttar 133600 findings in Wireless Portals:repparttar 133601 Information Gateway torepparttar 133602 Wireless User, byrepparttar 133603 end of 2006 there will be close to 1 billion wireless portal users worldwide. The bulk of these users will be wireless voice users, WAP users, 2.5G and 3G subscribers, and other wireless device users such as those using PDAs. Multi-modal users worldwide will stand close to 282 million in 2006.

The Reaction of 3G in America

The importance of 3G technology can also be gauged byrepparttar 133604 stance ofrepparttar 133605 National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency ofrepparttar 133606 U.S. Department of Commerce, which isrepparttar 133607 Executive Branch's principal voice on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. NTIA recently published a report entitled "WIRELESS" INTERNET: Whatrepparttar 133608 3G Challenge Means for U.S. Competitiveness where it insisted that 3G is important forrepparttar 133609 future of America's global competitiveness amongst other things and thatrepparttar 133610 Europeans and Asians view 3G development as their golden opportunity to beatrepparttar 133611 United States' inrepparttar 133612 area of telecommunications and ecommerce. The report also went further to state thatrepparttar 133613 US will remain two years behind many Asian and European countries on 3G services.

In contrast in another report entitled "Can U.S. Wireless Firms Ride Business Applications to Global Leadership?," Summit Strategies Practice Director Warren Wilson argues U.S. vendors and service providers stand to winrepparttar 133614 strategic high ground, first in their home markets and then internationally. "Japan and Europe are leadingrepparttar 133615 way in consumer-focused wireless applications, but business applications will drive U.S. markets,'' Wilson says. "North American vendors and service providers that correctly gauge which business applications to offer, andrepparttar 133616 development and deployment models that serve customers best cannot only catch up to global competitors, but even turnrepparttar 133617 tables and claim leadership roles in wireless data. It won't be easy, but it's far from impossible."

The importance of 3G and Wireless collaboration withrepparttar 133618 US has not been lost with NTT DoCoMo which understands that in order to move towards 3G, it must persuade other carriers to follow suit. DoCoMo’s USD$10bn investment in AT&T Wireless came withrepparttar 133619 agreement that AT&T transferred towards W-CDMA.

I will highlight some promises provided by 3G Technology:

1)3G and Workplace Dynamics

3G Technology is an enabler ofrepparttar 133620 development ofrepparttar 133621 Wearable Computing Industry. The WearTel (TM) phone, for example, uses EyeTap technology to allow individuals to see each other's point of view. Therefore,repparttar 133622 miniature laser light source insiderepparttar 133623 WearTel eyeglass-based phone scans acrossrepparttar 133624 retinas of both parties and swapsrepparttar 133625 image information, so that each person sees whatrepparttar 133626 other person is looking at.

This technology will enablerepparttar 133627 HR manager to have a better understanding of how to motivate and reward their employees as personal documentaries of their work-life will be shot from a first-person perspective. HR managers can provide better advice about handling difficult customers or closing sales. However,repparttar 133628 immediate benefit is that this technology can be used as a training tool. The reason is that privacy laws have to be reviewed and updated in order that customers are adequately informed of this technology

2)3G and Mobile Job Interviewing

With an attached camera in a mobile device, job interviews can be conducted as video-conferencing betweenrepparttar 133629 HR manager andrepparttar 133630 potential job applicant. Initially,repparttar 133631 job candidate can answer basic questions like his highest qualification and salary expectation by pressingrepparttar 133632 key-pad ofrepparttar 133633 mobile device. If successful, he can proceed to have a face-to-face interview.

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