Convergence in Modern Telecommunications

Kenro Seishima receives a short message on his cellular phone. It contains not only words and letters but also a small bar code. Out of curiosity, Seishima, a young executive, scans the bar code and, through the application in his cell phone, the screen features an advertisement of a car plus complete details about it.

The details give not only specifications and price information but also pictures of the car from various angles plus a contact person. In no time does Seishima contact this person and talk to him like in a video conference through his cellular phone.

Seishima’s experience is like a scene in a James Bond film or in Mission Impossible but it is actually quite common in Japan. As the standard of cell telecommunications has reached the third generation (3G) in Japan, this standard has introduced many novel things.

The 3G technology, released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) through its IMT-2000 package, has indeed transformed the business map of cell phones. You can use a cell phone not only for conversations but also for virtual meetings, location-based services (LBS) streaming and downloading of video and music, including TV programs, peer to peer messaging such as instant messaging, MMS or e-mailing.

Of course, Indonesians will also soon have this Japanese experience in modern telecommunications, especially because 3G development in Indonesia, affiliated to the GSM group, is just a matter of time. Three operators (PT Telkomsel, PT Excelcomindo and PT Indosat) have already acquired licenses.

Meanwhile, vendors have also been competing to launch the most sophisticated 3G cell phones. Motorola has launched its superior Motorola RAZR V3x. This clamshell cell phone, which combines design and technology, was named the “Best 3GSM Handset 2006” in the 3GSM World Congress 2006 early this year in Barcelona, Spain.

Besides the RAZR V3X, the U.S. company has also launched several other 3G cell phones, including Motorolla E1000, Motorolla A1000, Motorolla C975.

Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson has introduced its M600i, which is dedicated to complete e-mailing communications with touch-screen capability and handwriting identification. This Swedish-Japanese joint venture has also introduced its P990i series with a push e-mail facility, which allows communications with the Internet through the 3G network.

Of course, 3G cell phones must be smartphones because they have to handle various multimedia applications. A mobile television is now the talk of the town. The 3G technology makes it possible for the application of this high-speed feature.

Nokia has been highly aggressive in introducing its mobile TV. It has introduced its N92 series. Meanwhile, Samsung has launched its SGH-P900 series. With a DVB-H TV broadcaster receiver, these cell phones can receive television broadcasts.

Indeed, Nokia and Samsung do not automatically introduce all their systems to Indonesia. Nokia, a Finnish company that is the main supporter of DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast for Handheld) technology, is still trying to identify the character of cell phones in Indonesia. For this reason, it will launch limited edition cell phones this year.

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