TORONTO - From enhancing leisurely pastimes to connecting with work while on vacation, communications technology is changing the way we spend those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] presents the top five ways that summer is becoming hyperconnected:
- The Office is Anywhere: The allure of a summer house on quiet lake is calling out to you but there's big stuff going on at the office that you just have to keep tabs on. Rather than miss out on the chance to enjoy mid-day swims and evening marshmallow roasts you take your office to the lake with you. Unified communications and telework technologies allow you to do this by giving access to your phone calls, voicemails, e-mails and online collaboration tools like video-conferencing with the same simplicity and efficiency as if you were at the office. Even if you are only heading out of the office for lunch on a patio or a golf tournament, Mobile Unified Communications tools like Fixed Mobile Convergence Mobile Extension can transform your mobile phone into an office extension using the same number and features as your desk phone, like internal extension dialing, conferencing and call transferring. Workers can even access VoIP and video conferencing while on the go with the speedy connections offered by today's 3G wireless technologies, like CDMA EV-DO.
- Rural Connectivity: Working from a summer home is one thing if you have high-speed broadband. However, if you are restricted to dial up Internet access, as is the case in 30 percent of rural Canada, it can be a frustrating and downright futile task. With the emergence of 4G wireless broadband technologies like WiMAX (which exists today) and LTE (which is expected to be in deployment by 2010), service providers can cost-effectively deliver high-speed access in areas where it would have been too costly and difficult to build wired networks. This means that in the future more hyperconnected workers and vacationers will be able to access high-bandwidth applications like VoIP and streaming video from rural areas.
- Road tripping for the Hyperconnected: Getting to your vacation spot of choice leads many folks into that quintessential summer family adventure: the road trip. Luckily today there are iPods, portable video game devices, and cars with built in DVD players to that you can load up with content at home and bring along to entertain hyperconnected passengers. In the future summer road trips will be enhanced by the ability to access online content and applications right from the car such as streaming music, online gaming, and mobile TV. This is another advantage offered by 4G which has the speed and capacity to support broadband connectivity even while traveling at up to 100 km/h. Check out the drive tests that Nortel performed over both LTE** and WiMAX**.
- Hyperconnected Island Hopping: A recent study conducted by Nortel and IDC showed that hyperconnected workers would take their laptop out before their wallet or even mobile phone if they had to leave their house for 24 hours. In addition, roughly 30% of survey respondents have texted or emailed while on vacation. Based on this, you can bet that many laptops, smartphones, and other connected devices, get packed for summer travel. Luckily hotels commonly offer Internet to guests but some resort and tourist destinations are starting to offer more pervasive wireless access that would please hyperconnected vacationers. For example, an island-wide wireless mesh deployment on the Greek island of Patmos** will make this vacation hot spot a wireless hotspot. The Caribbean Islands can also be a haven for the hyperconnected with service providers in several sunny destinations expanding and upgrading their networks to offer the latest in wireless services such as web browsing, streaming video and multimedia messaging.
- Hyperconnected Play Time: The sun is in your eyes and you've hit a long drive right into the rough. Rather than take a one stroke penalty for the lost ball, the ball emits a radio signal** which leads you right to it. Maybe you'll also be able to better gauge your next drive with the whole course mapped out and displayed on a screen in your golf cart** through a combination of GPS and WiFi. The golf equipment is just some of a whole host of technology on the market today that makes use of connectivity to enhance leisure experiences. Technology is also making it easier to connect with friends while on the go. The combination of devices like the iPhone with GPS and social networking is making it possible to see what friends are on the same golf course, at the same baseball game or just in the same general area as you are when enjoying the summer sun.