The past few decades has seen great advancement in technology. New technology has totally changed the way people interact with each other. Modern technological inventions have allowed people to communicate with each other more efficiently and access information at almost real time. Earlier communication technologies such as the use of telegraph and posting letters among others have been slowly faced out by other emergent and innovative technologies (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 11). New technology is now based on the concept of convergence. This refers to the interconnection of computing devices and networks as well as ability to carry different communication technologies on a single platform called internet protocol (IP) (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 11). It has affected the world of computing, mobile communication and the internet services thereby creating high impact on the people’s social and economic lives. Before convergence came into being, all these communication technologies were carried out separately (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 11). However, their integration on an IP platform has provided a synergized effort towards realizing the impact of telecommunication technologies. This paper will center on how the new technology has helped to shape peoples’ lifestyles in the way they communicate and access information.
Internet evolution has become an inseparable assistant to people in their day to day activities. Currently, internet is a trusted source of information to people no matter their location in the world provided they have access to it. With the help of the internet, news papers, periodicals, television and radio among other methods of communication can be accessed online (Noll, 2001, p 135). This implies that a person can read an article from a newspaper at any time, as well as listen to his favorite radio program at their convenience provided they have access to internet (Billings, 2008, para. 31). Furthermore, new and converged technology has allowed people to watch their favorite television programs online even when travelling and not necessarily while at home alone.
Traditional communication technologies were designed for circuit switched services where the electromagnetic spectrum was inefficiently used. Furthermore, their use involved rates that were founded on per minute billing systems. Nevertheless, the new and innovative converged technologies are founded on the IP protocol and therefore, they require new interconnection formats so that anyone who wants to use the service can interconnect irrespective of the type of network they are using (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 171). Most of the time, pricing in this new format, is pegged on the capacity of the infrastructure that a person uses rather than the time he uses the service.
Great trends have been made to integrate all communication devices ranging from hand held gadgets to computers and the internet, thereby making the world a global village. Use of electronic mail and instant messaging service has facilitated communication at almost real time by people from any part of the world. Other different types of messages are used such as short messaging service, voice mail, and multimedia message service (Noll, 2001, p 135). Use of short messaging service (SMS) has mainly helped businesses in the way they communicate to their customers and employees (Taylor, Palen and Harper, 2005, p 77). Infinite amount of information is sent across the world at any given time. Such high volumes of information require a large infrustructural capacity to carry it from the sender to the recipient. Consequently, this is facilitated by the use of fiber optic technology which has a very high bandwidth to accommodate all the information being exchanged.
The importance of new and innovative techonlogies cannot be over emphasized. It has transformed the way people interact with each other and carry on their day to day activities. For instance, within the education arena, new technology has allowed students to access their learning materials online. There are thousands of libraries in the internet that are helpful to students who want to pursue their careers. In the past, a student had to be sitted in a library so as to access books, journals and other learning materials. However, with the advent of internet, books, journals and other helpful learning resources are accessed from the internet thereby simplifying the hussles experienced in the learning process (Casati and Shneyderman, 2008, p 176). Someone does not have to be in the physical location of the library but he can access the same services from any part of the world provided he has the required resources such as a computer and internet connection. Additionally, registration of students, accessing and submission of exams is done online. This helps to improve on efficiency by minimizing the time wasted while carrying out these processes manually.
While focussing on the business environment, new technology has helped to cut costs tremendously. For instance, use of videoconferencing has greatly reduced the expenses incurred by organizations in facilitating travelling of managers and other mojor stakeholders from one place to another to conduct and attend business meetings (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 169). This is a common practice among governement authorities and running of multinationals that have branches in different countries. It is also worth mentioning that currently, people have turned to online purchasing as they find it more convenient than conventional modes. It saves time since even shipment services come along the purchase.
Additionally, another benefit experienced as a result of new and innovative technologies is the use of telemedicine. Health professionals can diagnose a certain disease and prescribe medicine for patients who are many miles away through telemedicine. This is facilitated by use of internet and other innovative modrn technologies. Therefore, this helps to remove physical barriers as far as provision of health services is concerned.
As a matter of fact, most of the government oprations are run throughthe facilitation of technological innovations. In most countries, access to basic services from the government and other government agencies is done online. For instance, accessing police abstracts, and summons to the court in some countries is done through the internet. Students who want to access student loan services for their education get it online. This helps to reduce long queues in the government offices and long waiting hours before processing of the services is done (Casati and Shneyderman, 2008, p 176).
Before the invention of wireless networks technologies, people were limited to cabled networking methods which reduced their mobility. However, development of gadgets that support wireless communication protocols as well as presence of the wireless infrastructure has been very beneficial. Most of the major towns have hot spots which serve as access points to the internet for computing devices that support wireless network services.
Greater emphasis is now given to mobility in the interconnectivity of computing devices. Therefore, the improvements in mobile communications focus on provision of flawless services for all types of communication technologies irrespective of the type of device. For instance, the use of Wireless local area network (WLAN) facilitates interconnectivity among computing devices such laptops, routers and smart phones among others. Furthermore, third and fourth generation mobile technologies have allowed people to access mobile broadband for data services. Third and fourth generation mobile technologies allow global roaming services for voice and data (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 268). These concepts are among other emergent mobile technologies that will be accomplished through employment of IP-based networks that support portability and interoperability between different networks (Casati and Shneyderman, 2008, p 2). One of these innovations includes the use of WIMAX which stands for, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. WIMAX is viewed as the last solution to mobile broadband service. It has the potential to provide internet access to a relatively longer distance of about 30 mile radius. Most of the major cities in the world have WIMAX services and the therefore, this means that most of the people can enjoy the benefits of the technological innovation. Third and fourth generation mobile technologies incorporates wireless internet access through mobile third generation networks, satellite and global roaming services (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 268). However, they do not offer better roaming services like its predecessor WIMAX.
Drastic advances made in mobile technology have made the demand for data services through hand-held gadgets to increase tremendously. This implies that services that could only be accessed through a workstation computer can now be accessed through mobile devices. In addition, this has been facilitated by expansion of broadband services which has increased the interconnectivity to wireless internet access. People can now upload and download large volumes of data inform of video and other formats more easily. Standardization of these technologies by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), allows people to easily access the internet through their wireless enabled computing devices (Coope, Mather and Bannister, 2004, p 180). Currently, most of the major social venues such hotels, booking offices for buses and trains, waiting bays in airports, hotels among others, are hot spots for internet access. Therefore, introduction of better technologies will continue to shape the way people interact, and result to efficiency in the entire communication process.