Technical Advancement in the Field of Telecommunication
The move into the Information Society is driven by the market for new information and communications technologies and services. Whilst the large number of technologies and services and their providers bring expectations of higher economic growth, there has been a growing concern about the social, ethical, cultural, political and economic aspects of the coming society. For some time there has been a considerable interest in the prospects of obtaining a "sustainable development" through the use of telecommunication technologies. The generally accepted definition of sustainable development is that
"current generations should meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Whereas the term sustainability has most often been used when referring to the environment,
Industry wide restructuring is Inevitable. Major telecommunication service providers such as AT& T and WorldCom are responding to a major business model shift. The problem is weak long distance revenues, falling market, share, reduced profits, and lack of strategic direction. The long distance business is largely a commodity business that does not have the strategic growth capability. Deregulation has damaged this product segment for the major carriers because it allows Regional Bell Companies (RBC) to offer long distance services to regional customers and bypass traditional long distance providers. But competition also comes from Independent Local Exchange Carriers (ILEC) which is subject to far less stringent regulatory hurdles and requirements. ILEC's have launched successful long distance service campaigns after AT&T and WorldCom customers. ILEC's such as Alltel Corp. has 1.1 million customers while CenturyTel has 330,000 long distance customers.
Wireless Communications: Explosive Growth.
Explosive growth of wireless communications technology continues as the industry experiences new subscribers and lower prices for services. The U.S. market had 100 million wireless subscribers in year 2000, a 16.2 percent rise from 1999 of 86 million. In 1993, there were only 16 million wireless subscribers, a rise of 525 percent rise in subscribers over 7 years. Market penetration rose 33 percent in 2000. In 1993, market penetration was only 6 percent. The explosive growth can largely be attributed to intensive competition which forces prices down and increase cellular phone usage. In fact, the market for wireless voice services is becoming mature. Growth rates and heavy competition are restricting profit margins.
The U.S. telecommunications services industry will continue to expand in 2001. The popularity of wireless phones has increased the demand for wireless cellular telephone service and reduced the demand for in-building wired phones. Approximately 50 percent of the...