CONTENTINTRODUCTION DEVELOPING OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SATTELITE SERVICES INTERNET ADVANCING ROLE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN BANKING <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>RUSSIA</st1:place></st1:country-region>’S TELECOMMUNICATIONS ROADS GET WIDER, MORE EXPENSIVE FUTURE OF DEVELOPMENT CONCLUSION
Noone can deny the role of telecommunications for society.Currently hundreds of millions of people use wireless communication means. Cellphone is no longer a symbol of prestige but a tool, which lets to use workingtime more effectively. Considering that the main service of a mobile connectionoperator is providing high quality connection, much attention in thetelecommunication market is paid to the spectrum of services that cell networksubscriber may receive.
DEVELOPING OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Latein the nineteenth century communications facilities were augmented by a newinvention – telephone. In the <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>USA</st1:place></st1:country-region>its use slowly expanded, and by 1900 the American Telephone and TelegraphCompany controlled 855,000 telephones; but elsewhere the telephone made littleheadway until the twentieth century. After 1900, however, telephoneinstallations extended much more rapidly in all the wealthier countries. Thenumber of telephones in use in the world grew at almost 100 per cent perdecade. But long-distance telephone services gradually developed and began tocompete with telegraphic business. A greater contribution to long-rangecommunication came with the development of wireless. Before the outbreak of theFirst World War wireless telegraphy was established as a means of regularcommunication with ships at sea, and provided a valuable supplement to existingtelegraph lines and cables. In the next few years the telephone systems of allthe chief countries were connected with each other by radio. Far more immediatewas the influence that radio had through broadcasting and by television, whichfollowed it at an interval of about twenty-five years.
Telephonesare as much a form of infrastructure as roads or electricity, and competitionwill make them cheaper. Losses from lower prices will be countered by higherusage, and tax revenues will benefit from the faster economic growth thattelephones bring about. Most important of all, by cutting out the need toinstall costly cables and microwavetransmitters, the new telephones could be a boon to the remote and poor regionsof the earth. Even today, half the world’s population lives more than two hoursaway from a telephone, and that is one reason why they find it hard to breakout of their poverty. A farmer’s call for advice could save a whole crop;access to a handset could help a small rural business sell its wares. And inrich places with reasonable telephone systems already in place, the effect ofnew entrants – the replacement of bad, overpriced services with clever, cheaperones – is less dramatic but still considerable.
Globalphones are not going to deliver all these benefits at once, or easily. Indeed,if the market fails to develop, it could prove too small to support the costsof launching satellites. Still, that is a risk worth taking. And these newglobal telephones reflect a wider trend. Lots of other new communicationservices – on-line film libraries, personal computers that can send video-clipsand sound-bites as easily as they can be used for writing letters, terrestrialmobile-telephone systems cheap enough to replace hard-wired family sets – arealready technically possible. What they all need is deregulation. Then any ofthem could bring about changes just as unexpected and just as magical asanything that Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone has already achieved.
Ourworld has become an increasingly complex place in which, as individuals, we arevery dependent on other people and on organizations. An event in some distantpart of the globe can rapidly and significantly affect the quality of life inour home country.
Thisincreasing independence, on both a national and international scale, has led usto create systems that can respond immediately to dangers, enabling appropriatedefensive or offensive actions to be taken. These systems are operating allaround us in military, civil, commercial and industrial fields.
Aworldwide system of satellites has been created, and it is possible to transmitsignals around the globe by bouncing them from on satellite to an earth stationand thence to another satellite.
Originallydesigned to carry voice traffic, they are able to carry hundreds of thousandsof separate simultaneous calls. These systems are being increasingly adopted toprovide for business communications, including the transmission of traffic forvoice, facsimile, data and vision.
Itis probable that future satellite services will enable a great variety ofinformation services to transmit directly into the home, possibly includingpersonalized electronic mail. The electronic computer is at the heart of manysuch systems, but the role of telecommunications is not less important. Therewill be a further convergence between the technologies of computing andtelecommunications. The change will be dramatic: the database culture, thecashless society, the office at home, the gigabit-per-second data network.
Wecannot doubt that the economic and social impact of these concepts will be verysignificant. Already, advanced systems of communication are affecting both thelayman and the technician. Complex functions are being performed by peopleusing advanced terminals which are intended to be as easy to use as theconventional telephone.
Thenew global satellite-communications systems will offer three kinds of service,which may overlap in many different kinds of receivers:
Voice.Satellite telephones will be able to make calls from anywhere on earth toanywhere else. That could make them especially useful to remote, third-worldvillages (some of which already use stationary satellite telephones), explorersand disaster-relief teams. Today’s mobile phones depend on earth-boundtransmitters, whose technical standards vary from country to country. Sobusiness travelers cannot use their mobile phones on international trips.Satellite telephones would make that possible.
Massaging.Satellite messagers have the same global coverage assatellite telephones, but carry text alone, which could be useful for thosewith laptop computers. Equipped with a small screen like today’s pagers,satellite messagers will also receive short messages.
Tracking.Voice and messaging systems will also tell their users where they are to withina few hundred metres. Combined with the messagingservice, the location service could help rescue teams to find strandedadventurers, the police to find stolen cars, exporters to follow the progressof cargoes, and haulage companies to check that drivers are not detouring tothe pub. Satellite systems will provide better positioning information toanyone who has a receiver for their signals.
Theinternet, a global computer network which embraces millions of users all overthe world, began in the <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>United States</st1:place></st1:country-region> in 1969 as a military experiment. Itwas designed to survive a nuclear war. Information sent over the Internet takesthe shortest path available from one computer to another. Because of this, anytwo computers on the Internet will be able to stay in touch with each other aslong as there is a single route between them. This technology is called packet swithing. Owing to this technology, if some computers onthe network are knocked out (by a nuclear explosion, for example), informationwill just rout around them. One such packet-swithingnetwork which has already survived a war is the Iraqi computer network whichwas not knocked out during the Gulf War.
Mostof the Internet host computers (more than 50%) are in the <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>United States</st1:place></st1:country-region>,while the rest are located in more than 100 other countries. Although thenumber of host computers can be counted fairly accurately, nobody knows exactlyhow many people use the Internet, there are millions worldwide, and theirnumber is growing by thousands each month.
Themost popular Internet service is e-mail. Most of the people, who have access tothe Internet, use the network only for sending and receiving e-mail messages.However, other popular services are available on the Internet: reading USENETNews, using the World-Wide-Web, telnet, FTP, and Gopher.
Inmany developing countries the Internet may provide businessmen with a reliablealternative to the expensive and unreliable telecommunications systems of thesecountries. Commercial users can communicate cheaply over the Internet with therest of the world. When they send e-mail messages, they only have to pay forphone calls to their local service providers, not for calls across theircountries or around the world. But who actually pays for sending e-mailmessages over the Internet long distances, around the world? The answer is verysimple: users pay their service provider a monthly or hourly fee. Part of thisfee goes toward its costs to connect to a larger service provider, and part ofthe fee received by the larger provider goes to cover its cost of running aworldwide network of wires and wireless stations.
Butsaving money is only the first step. If people see that they can make moneyfrom the Internet, commercial use of this network will drastically increase.For example, some western architecture companies and garment centers alreadytransmit their basic designs and refined by skilled – but inexpensive – Chinesecomputer-aided-design specialists.
However,some problems remain. The most important is security. When you send an e-mailmessage can travel through many different networks and computers. The data isconstantly being directed towards its destination by special computers calledrouters. However, because of this, it is possible to get into any of thecomputers along the route, intercept and even change the data being sent overthe Internet. In spite of the fact that there are many good encoding programsavailable, nearly all the information being sent over the Internet istransmitted without any form ofencoding, i.e. “in the clear”/ But when it becomes necessary to send importantinformation over the network, these encoding programs may b useful. SomeAmerican banks and companies even conduct transactions over the Internet.However, there are still both commercial and technical problems which will taketime to be resolved.
ADVANCING ROLE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN BANKING
Roleof telecommunications in banking as in other businesses nowadays is extremelyimportant. We can even say that this field is critical success factor for themodern bank or banking system.
Thereare two different approaches in terms of ownership to building bankingcommunications in the world. One approach that is chosen for example by bankingsystem of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Russia</st1:place></st1:country-region>and some other former <st1:place w:st=«on»>Soviet Union</st1:place> countriesis building of private banking networks from the start. This approach hascertain benefits, mainly from security prospective. On the other hand buildingprivate banking networks requires permanent and serious involvement of banks infinancing, support and development of telecommunications systems. Otherapproach is building banking communications over existing public services inthe country. Some of main benefits of this approach are relatively low level ofinvestments in communications and possibility of sharing achievements in thisfield with other businesses. At the same time in the future it will be easierfor central bank to minimize it's involvement is this field then in the case ofprivate banking communication systems.
Thereare number of most important banking systems and services that are based oncommunications.
ElectronicFunds Transfer System — System facilitating electronic transfer of domestic interbank and intrabank (interbranch) payment instruments.
InternationalFinancial Telecommunications — Same as EFTS but for international operations.
NationalMoney markets and auctions — System allowing electronic trading of financialinstruments and stocks within the banking system.
Centralizedaccounting and analysis of available reserves and government budget acrosscountry
Centralizedelectronic processing of personal Credit-and-Debit card operations.
Theimportance of fast and reliable electronic information exchange betweenfinancial institutions grows with economy of country and requires deployment ofmodern technologies in the banking system.
<st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>RUSSIA</st1:place></st1:country-region>'S TELECOMMUNICATIONS ROADS GETWIDER, MORE EXPENSIVE
Inthe last days of 2000 the government approved «in principle» of adraft concept for developing the market of telecommunications services,extending till the year 2010. What are the likely implications of thatdecision?
Underthe approved project further efforts in the telecommunications market must begeared to meet the growing demand for communications services. According to theMinistry of Communications, 54,000 communities in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Russia</st1:place></st1:country-region> have not a single telephone.Communications networks development has been and still is the job oftraditional operators. Bills paid by retail subscribers cover a mere 77 percentof local telephone communications costs.
Accordingto the most conservative estimates, the development of the national telephoneinfrastructure will require an investment of $33 billion over a period of tenyears. The number of ordinary telephones will grow from 31.2 million in 2000 to47.7 million in 2010, and of mobile telephones, from 2.9 million to 22.2million. The army of Internet users by 2010 will go up from 2.5 million to 26.1million.
Forcommunications operators to be effective control will be established of thefair access of one operator to the other operator's network. No operator willbe allowed to refuse access to its infrastructure to another operator. Andtariffs for all market participants should be the same.
Havingexamined the concept the Ministry of Communication, the Ministry of Economic Developmentand Trade and the Anti-Monopoly Policies Ministry ordered finalizing thedocument within a two-month deadline and present it in one package with a planfor implementation measures to the Cabinet of Ministers. In the meantime, theRussian communications market is booming. Investments in 2000 exceeded by farthose witnessed by pre-crisis 1997. National industrial operators are in thegrowth phase.
Forthe past few years the telecommunications divisions of several giants (such asthe Ministry of Railways, Gazprom and otherscompanies) have stormed the domestic market, but none has gained full access tothis day. The possibility remains, though, that these companies next year maygain the status of a full-fledged operator. However, before they can count onthe right to provide communications services in the domestic market, theoperators of corporate telecommunications networks must settle their debts tothe government, Communications Minister Leonid Reimantold Vek. He believes that these operators may settletheir liabilities by transferring part of their shares to the State PropertyMinistry.
TheCommunications Ministry has conducted negotiations with the Defense Ministry onusing certain frequencies for civilian purposes. Reimansaid four percent of the radio frequencies were used by civil services, 20percent, jointly by military and civil services, and the others were exemptfrom conversion. The Communications Ministry does not dismiss the possibilityof operators' financial participation in the conversion of frequency ranges tocivilian uses altogether. The issue of licenses to use vacant frequenciesthrough contests may prove a means to raise funds for the mobile communicationsector. The government has approved of issuing contested licenses for frequencyranges above 1800 MHz, and for third generation cellular systems.
Ofthe main methods the government uses to control the telecommunications market,alongside technological policies and perfection of service provisionprinciples, one should point to the control of tariffs, minimization of crosssubsidies, optimization of tariffs structure by consumer and regional sectors,transition as of 2002 to limit pricing-based tariffs, and the introduction of asystem of universal services. The effective control and operation of theindustry should provide support for domestic producers and safeguard nationalinterests during the restructuring of companies, including Svyazinvest.
Svyazinvestis in the process of enlargement and reorganization. Instead of the 89 regionaloperators it is creating a new structure uniting seven to fifteencommunications operators. This measure is expected to make the company easierto control and increase its shareholder value. The General Director of OAO Nizhegorodsvyazinform Vladimir Lyulinand Managing Director of the investment bank Group Gamma TimurKhusainov in December signed a contract on theprovision of information and consulting services within the framework of theunification of eleven regional communications operators in the <st1:place w:st=«on»>Volga</st1:place> river area.
Nizhegorodsyavinformwill be the base company in the <st1:place w:st=«on»>Volga</st1:place>area, taking over ten other regional communications operators — OAO Kirovelektrosvyaz, OAO Martelkomof the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Republic</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Mari El</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>,
OAO Svyazinform of the Republic of Mordovia,OAO Elektrosvyaz of the OrenburgRegion, OAO Svyazinform of the PenzaRegion, OAO Svyazinform of the Samara Region, Saratovelektrosvyaz, Telecommunications Networks of the Udmurt Republic, Elektrosvyaz ofthe Ulyanovsk Region, and Svyazinformof the Chuvash Republic. The unification process isdue to be completed by the beginning of 2003.
Thenumber of trunk communication lines over the past two years grew noticeably. Rostelecom and Transtelecom havebeen discussing the possibilities of Asia-Europe traffic. Companies in the Westhave turned an attentive ear to this news. Some are drawing plans for doingbusiness in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Russia</st1:place></st1:country-region>. The main conclusion is that the economy's drift from material production toinformation technologies implies the growing role of telecommunications. Thosecompanies which fail to reorganize their policies and development priorities intime, will fail in market competition. A shift of the emphasis from thetransmission of voice to the transmission of data is the mainstream trend inthe telecommunications business.
Marketeconomy development will give <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Russia</st1:place></st1:country-region>convenient and high quality telecommunications roads. However, only thosecompanies that have opted for new development models will make a rapid headway.
FUTURE OF DEVELOPMENT
Futureis speed and power. New technologies in electronics continue to develop.Computers become more compact, fast and inexpensive. The smaller chips' sizethe closer it placed one another and electric signal goes much faster. Technologyexert revolutionary influence on society only when it is universal. Realrevolution in manufacture, accumulation, treatment of matter begins when firstuniversal metal-working machines appeared and telecommunication systems werecreated. In ancient machines energy source was combined with machine itself,but in process of development, division of manufacture, transmission andconsumption of energy took place.
Revolutionarymodifications in use of energy connected with appearance of universal electricmachines and power grids. Social changes to informational society take in allcountries.
Onbase of analogy between matter, energy and information we can have ideas aboutfuture. Earlier, for example, number of manufactured metal played the strategicrole and was the description of development. Now we save metal, energy and wethink about energy saving technologies.
Itis very difficult to predict many steps of informatization.Telecommunications changes world very much.
Ineach device developed by human, collection and processing of information takeplace. Even simple soda water apparatus when it receives money, this apparatuscollect and analyze information about coin and then either return the coin orgive glass of soda water. In that way telecommunications may change us andworld in future.
Nobodyknows what our future will be like. Some people say that big spacecrafts willbe built and that people will visit distant planets and make their settlementsthere. Some people say that technology will be developed to such an extent thatcomputers will control the world. Others think that there will be worlddisasters floods, droughts and earthquakes alike — and that they will destroythe human race. Christians believe that the end of the world is near and that theGod will come to part the good people from the bad ones. There are people whobelieve that pollution will cause the decline and fall of the mankind and thereare those who predict that a gigantic shooting star will crash into the Earthat the turn of the century. Some people claim that alliensare planning to attack and turn us into their slaves.
So,is there, after all, a slight chance that people will finally come to theirsenses and that there will be at least no starvation and wars?
Ithink that bright future is in front of us. Just take a quick glance throughhistory and you will realize it too: in ancient times people killed each otherin order to have meat for dinner, later in order to satisfy their own vanityand today without any reason at all. As you can notice, we are developing veryfast! Neighbors are killing each other out of boredom; mothers are killingtheir newborn babies out of some little sick reasons. Isn’t it obvious that weare considerably improving species which is getting wiser every day?
Ifwe try to make this world better we shall succeed. But, are we ready to do itnow? Are we really environment friendly while not recycling but just pilingrubbish in the middle of once green meadows, while shooting bears and foxesjust because of their fur? Are we really worried about thousands of hungrypeople while we are throwing away fresh food in garbage bins? Do we really careabout all those thirsty children while we are splashing about in swimmingpools? Are we really concerned about dangerously polluted air our descendantswill have to inhale while we are driving happily our flashy cars? Can we eventry to imagine the ugliness of the desert we are going to leave to ourgrandchildren?
Itcould be estimated that an average person spends a minute a year thinking aboutthe future of our planet and I do not know if I should compliment this or not.Is it an achievement after all?
Iexpress my gratitude for devoting people’s lives to saving our future world bymaking other people aware that the appalling problems of poverty and armsbuild-up should be dealt with soon and that, among many other things, our seasand forests deserve more protection than they get. The only way we can show theEarth our respect is to change our attitude and behavior before it is too late.So let’s do it now.
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