IBM, 2009. Profiting from convergence: Defining growth paths for telecom service providers. IBM Business Consulting Services, NY, USA
According to IBM (2009), telecommunications convergence is the merging of different types of media and delivery through a single device such as mobile handsets or computers. The term refers to crossing and integration of communication media and platforms. Types of communication media include broadcast media such as TV and radio; electronic media and telecommunications media. There are two aspects, vertical integration and horizontal integration. Vertical convergence occurred when products such as music, event tickets, eCommerce, music downloads, ring tones were marketed as bundled offerings. Horizontal convergence took place when these products were marketed and serviced through mobile channel.
The future media would be defined by six meta themes and these themes interrelate with each other. The themes are: Convergence, Specialization, Differentiation, Simplification, Personalization, Portability and the porous home. The important themes are convergence and specialisation. Device manufacturers and service providers face important decisions over whether to converge their offerings, or whether to become more specialised and target a particular group of consumers. The following figure shows how the themes relate to each other and the impact on the future of convergence and specialisation in terms of their impact on the future of media offerings (Eastwood, 2010).
The future communication media will increasingly turn electronic and with “save the trees” movement gaining importance, print media will slowly be phased out. A time may very well come when printed newspapers and magazines will be as rare as carving on stone or clay tablets. Important drivers that will control the media market would depend on technology and consumer lifestyles. Consumers would create a demand for better and reliable services even as the services will be so innovative that they continue to drive the demand. Consumers are increasingly connected through the increased in fixed and mobile broadband, mile telephony and access to services in the cloud. Behavioural patterns are changing partly as a result of this increased connectivity – people are spending less time at work, more time consuming media of various types, and more time entertaining in the home using the connective technology at their disposal.
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