Most of us understand time in terms such as past, present and future. We measure time in increments, with the most common forms ranging from seconds to years. This definition of time is described using the Greek word “Cronus.” However, a lesser-known term for time is more appropriate when endorsing the drive towards developing new IP-based applications, VoIP and Hosted Unified Communications – “Kairos” time.
Kairos is the Greek word that means the right time or opportune moment. IP technology is experiencing innovation that is unprecedented in human history. Consider that in 2004, fewer than a billion devices were connected to the Internet and, today, the number of connected devices is nearly 7 billion. An array of analysts such as Gartner, IDC and others have forecasted that this growth will continue to accelerate and, by 2018, more than 18 billion devices will be leveraging the Internet and IP technology in some fashion. Most of this growth will be fueled by the “Internet of Things,” where devices, objects, people and, even, animals transmit or receive data using IP-based technology.
However, timing is important. None of this growth in capability and capacity could be achieved without the improvements in wireless technology and networks, micro-electronics and the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, which will provide 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 IP addresses. That is a huge increase from the current 4 billion. As the Internet is expanded to support a greater number of devices, wireless and fiber networks – which provide crucial broadband access – are receiving major upgrades, as well. Wireless networks are evolving from 3G to 4G to full LTE, which will expand the typical downlink speeds for a user from 10-20 Mbps to 100 Mbps. AT&T, Google and others are experimenting with 1 Gbps access to individual homes with plans to provide such speeds to over 25 metropolitan areas.
Technological advancement, while a good thing, does not necessarily succeed nor satisfy a market. But, those of us in the IP community recognize that, in this case, the technology is not only in demand, it is fueling a pace of discovery and invention that is widely accepted by the market. Wireless technology fuels the demand to be mobile. Mobility requires the delivery of applications and services that keep people connected to data/information, other people, processes, entertainment and work. Advancement cannot rest.
Accepting, investing, building and delivering useful and demanded IP-related services are a kairos for all of us. Not just the IP community or service providers such as ANPI, but truly all of us. Every person, business and sector of the global economy benefits from this explosion in communications and transmission of data. It is not simply the convergence of technology that is timely, it is the integration and interaction of a wide array of applications and services that both satisfy and fuel our imaginations on how to utilize what is now available or possible.
Typically, cronus is viewed as the real and measureable. With regard to IP communications, kairos is just as tangible.