Lecture Faculty of Computing Engineering and Technology

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                       Applied Communication Systems

                                     Lecture 1
                        Introduction and Course Overview

                          • Introduction to module and Assessment
                          • Network Convergence
                          • Summary

     Version 1.5 Jan               ,
     2012          ,,
E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                                               1                                           Staffordshire University
   This first session is an introduction to the module - setting the scene and
    some module ground rules
   Technology looked at
      – Smart Phones / VOIP / Wireless / RFID / 3G / XML are all very topical
   The module will be applied / hands-on
      – It is a network-related module
      – We put kit into business context and also do some mobile development
      – We have devices you can all use
              • RFID reader / VOIP phones / Wireless devices
   The areas covered are commercially topical and should provide all of
    you with useful skills and knowledge in the workplace
   What kind of job will you be looking for?
      – This module should help you in your application for technical roles e.g.
        infrastructure roles

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                                               Staffordshire University
                           How the module will work
   1 lecture per week
   1 tutorial hour per week
      – The assignment can be incrementally developed/researched
      – The assignment is available from next week
   The assessment for this module is split with
      – 70% allocated to the assignment and
      – 30% to the end of module exam (1 hour closed book)
   Assignment: This will be discussed today and live next week
              • Producing a report and a prototype application.
              • Either 50:20 or 20:50 split between report and prototype – you decide.

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                            Slide 3                       Staffordshire University
                       Learning Outcomes of module
       Learning Outcomes
    1.       Understand convergence of communication technology
    2.       Review the concepts of mobile communications technology including
             wireless networks and wireless hosts
    3.       Review the IT infrastructure for computer telephony integration (CTI) and
             Voice over IP
    4.       Practical implementation of wireless applications using appropriate
       Kit that you will have some usage of
    –        Smartphones - Concentrating on Android
    –        Wireless devices
    –        RFID
    –        VoIP technology
       See the links in this weeks tutorial sheet for more information about the

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                       Slide 4                   Staffordshire University
   Introduction
      – Setting the scene
   What is convergence ?
      – Why is convergence happening ?
      – Types of convergence
      – Physical Convergence
              • Possible designs of converged devices
              • Interactive TV

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                     Slide 5        Staffordshire University
                       Unified Communications
   Unified communications - a world where multiple communication
    methods are
     – integrated,
     – controlled and
     – managed effectively
   Unified communications products achieve this through
     – convergence and
     – integration of communications channels, networks and business applications
   Bringing together computing applications with communications
    networks can increase
     – staff effectiveness,
     – improve customer service and
     – reduce overhead costs
   Unified Collaborative Communications (UCC) is seen as a strategy to
    achieve the above

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                   Slide 6                  Staffordshire University
                        Impact of mobile computing
   Pervasive technology ...
   Impacts in many ways
      – The way we do things as individuals and as businesses
      – Technology driven or Business need driven?
              • Not always clear
   Evolution or Revolution?
      – Examples
              • PDAs – a dead market? Or not?
              • Smartphones, tablets and in between
      – Internet enabled devices
              • Often used for web based applications (but much more than http:
              • Integration of devices
      – Convergence of devices
      – Standards and research
E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                       Slide 7                   Staffordshire University
                       The need for communication
   Anytime/anywhere
   Offsite and onsite employees
   Increasing productivity
   Automating workflow
   Examples:
      –    BT telephone engineers can access customer profile via GPRS laptops
      –    Restocking vans overnight for jobs on the following day
      –    Jobs allocated to engineers over web rather than return to base.
      –    Parcel tracking for improved customer service

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                   Slide 8                Staffordshire University
                           Return on investment

   Very interesting for us, but...
   Implementing communications technology needs to be
    justified as an investment
   Costs versus benefits
   Sometimes there are disadvantages to convergence
   Intangible savings and tangible savings
      –    Often referred to as the “value added”
      –    Less administration
      –    More time for “doing”
      –    Lower complexity for developers
      –    More opportunities for new types of solution

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                   Slide 9            Staffordshire University
                          Convergence progress
   The world of IT is changing,
   IT and communication technologies are now combined
   Professionals in this field need to understand both aspects!
   Converged technologies have high potential, but beware of
    inflated expectations e.g. VoIP

   A technology Life cycle?
      –    Technology Trigger
      –    Inflated expectations
      –    Trough of disillusionment
      –    Period of enlightenment
      –    Plateau of productivity

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                   Slide 10    Staffordshire University
                            Types of Convergence
   Protocol convergence
      – Problems and solutions for IT management
      – Perhaps moving from a Multi-protocol to single protocol
              • For a list of protocols -
              • How many communication-related protocols are there?
      – As an example, Unified Messaging (UMS) handling has
              • voice,
              • fax and
              • text for a mailbox
      for access by email or phone

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                   Slide 11              Staffordshire University
                           Types of convergence (cont)
    Payload Convergence
       – different types of data carried in the same communication format
               • Text, Images, Video, Sound, Numeric … digital data is flexible
    Device Convergence
       – Example: network switches supporting
               • Ethernet packets,
               • Internet Protocol (IP) routing and
               • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
    Applications Convergence
       – integrated functions, previously unavailable
    Physical Convergence
       – Hardware, miniaturisation, integrated circuitry

    E.R.Edwards 18/01/12                      Slide 12                   Staffordshire University
          Examples of Personal communications
            devices and applications available
   Functionality on a smartphone -
    –   Clock, Stopwatch, Time alarm, Diary, Notepad
    –   E-mailer, Contacts manager
    –   Calculator, Currency converter, Language translator
    –   Digital camera, Video player, Video-games player, TV player
    –   Music player, Radio receiver
    –   Internet browser, Remote controller (other devices)
    –   Personal attack alarm; Personal medical alert
    –   Global Position System
    –   Heart-rate and Blood Pressure monitor
    –   Augmented reality overlay viewer
   And many, many more
      – Apps! (popular platforms have hundreds of thousands available,
           many free)
E.R.Edwards 18/01/12               Slide 13              Staffordshire University
   Convergence has become a major driver for
    corporations and smaller firms looking to:
      –    Save money
      –    Maximise comms technology
      –    Harness the demands of data exchange
      –    Exploit niche opportunities
   Networks are becoming increasingly sophisticated
    in order to cope with the changes in traffic

E.R.Edwards 18/01/12             Slide 14         Staffordshire University

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