Predictions for 2004

* Steve and Larry go out on a limb - or rather, 10 limbs

It’s that time of the year again - hold onto your seats for our top 10 predictions for 2004.

1. A major incumbent service provider will begin to offer (and even admit it’s offering) VoIP services. Its corporate name will be identified by three capital letters that include A’s and T’s. Steve and Larry will provide appropriate commentary in a subsequent newsletter.

2. To improve on the highest possible levels of security and business continuity, at least three Fortune 50 companies will move away from desktop computing to display-only desktops; the applications and data will be hosted by the corporate IT department.

3. Internet taxation will not become an issue for the 2004 U. S. presidential election unless one of the candidates claims to have invented VoIP. However, the U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to hear a case to decide if voice over the Internet should be taxed.

4. More than 30% of large enterprises will issue a request for proposal to scrap their existing PBX in favor of an IP-PBX.

5. Cell phone-based wireless data will continue to be a novelty for most enterprise users. However a major supplier of cell phones will successfully market a hybrid phone that includes cellular and 802.11 wireless connectivity.

6. PDA-based Softphones will become more common.

7. Somebody will figure out a cool business application for sending pictures to cell phones. Then, somebody else will figure out how to block spam and pictures delivered to cell phones. And a clever employee will figure out how to use the cell phone picture mode to prove he’s working even when he’s not.

8. Videoconferencing over IP will be marketed so users can earn frequent flyer miles.

9. Unified messaging and unified communications portals will become more common.

10. The integration of 802.11 wireless with voice over IP will be a hot issue.

Thanks to all our readers for an enjoyable 2003. We wish you and your family happy holidays and a prosperous New Year.

Learn more about this topic

Keeping in tune with IP telephony

Network World, 01/05/04

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Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.