Hossein Eslambolchi Vision 2020

Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi
April 2012


  • Legacy networks, systems and applications are just beginning to converge — a transformation that will unify disparate technologies into a seamless, ubiquitous virtual world centered on applications and global multi-media.
  • No matter which access technologies prevail, expanding the network will require an architecture that is flexible, can incorporate many different access technologies, and can work seamlessly with the current wired network structure. Your company doesn’t want to worry about which device it should use or where and when it can or can’t use it. The most promising development in this sphere is 4G wireless networking.
  • Companies are moving away from simply offering bandwidth. They are becoming, instead, global networking and software based companies.
  • Imagine that audiences will decide the ending of a movie. Imagine an instant pull of the number of audience, age, and mind set of people who are watching a TV show. By 2020, entertainment will move beyond comparing passive reception of information and initiate active participation in the exchange of information.
  • I like to compare the wired infrastructure to a technological nervous system, branching out and down to the consumer. Fat trunks of optical fiber feed down into smaller connections to the office and home. Fiber optic lines are the spine, Ethernet cables or additional fiber serve as ancillary nerves, and a variety of smaller pipes from T3 lines to cable, DSL, and dial-up connect distributed sensors across the whole network.
  • The explosion of content that is coursing along broadband connections is driven by rich visual and audio streams. Sensor data — video feeds, RFID data, motion detectors — are being bound together in new, converged multimedia applications. Distance learning, disaster and emergency response systems, health-care applications: all are leveraging enormous amounts of sensor data. Text, sound, video — the environment itself — can be presented to the receiver as-is, in real time.
  • Moore’s Law states that processing speed will double at a fixed price every 18 months. By that measure, devices that are placed in the hands of consumers — from desktops to laptops to PDAs — are likely to achieve processing speeds of up to 20 gigahertz (Ghz) by the year 2020, almost 10 times the power of the average consumer laptop of today. All of this extra processing power will enable rich, instantaneous multimedia applications, which in turn will drive up broadband speeds even further. To match these needs, networks will need to provide bandwidth at a rate of one gigabit per second.
  • IP-TV, just being rolled out, will enable active participation technologies. The possibilities of active participation are still hard to imagine because the technology is so new – and because we’re so used to 50 years of regular one-way TV.
  • In the future, we’ll collaborate with other people watching the same programming. People will work together to design their own movies, with the story and ending they decide upon.

IP Will Eat Everything:

  • Internet Protocol, like Pac Man, will eat everything. Services over IP (SoIP) will be the result, delivering everything over the emerging IP version 6 networks. 
  • Fully deployed and adopted worldwide around 2014, IPv6 will replace the legacy IPv4, which is currently running out of unique IP addresses. Before a new machine can be added to the Internet, it must be assigned a unique identifier. IPv6 will break the growing backup of new devices and applications. IP-address phone numbers will set us free from geography.
  • Standardization of all electronic devices around IP will provide the infrastructure to inaugurate the new multimedia era and also offer building blocks for convergence.
  • Virtually everything and everybody will be linked to and accessible from the Internet through super IP networks.
  • The great advantage of new IP-based networking is that services that formerly existed in silos will now be set free to work together.
  • VoIP is the first out of the gate and received tons of publicity – but the best is yet to come, In fact, I see VoIP as only one of a number of services delivered over IP.
  • Since all sorts of applications will run over a common, open standard, new exciting capabilities will be unleashed when they begin to interoperate.
  • In fact, I think the next step is what I call XoIP – where the X is a variable that can stand for any service.
  • It could be voice, but it could also be storage, gaming or instant messaging. Only the cost of service and quality of service may be different.
  • Current IP technology was developed more than 30 years ago for a specific application — email. It is not suited for 21st century applications! We need to think about application layer routing instead of network-based routing.

Smart Networks:

  • Just as the Internet brought unlimited choices, now choice will spread to other areas.
  • These capabilities will depend on smart networks which will support a wide variety of smart devices and a wide variety of applications. Smart networks will open a new era in the personalization of media. Content will be transmitted to you based on your behavior; you’ll have the ability to filter and control what flows towards you and your end devices.
  • Smart agents will share driving duties with the person behind the wheel. Intelligent cars are a network information system with embedded agents that adjust speed, navigate the trip, warn of road hazards and collision conditions, and launch scheduled self-maintenance. The driver will start the engine; engage GPS and the sensor guidance system. The rest of the trip, the driver and passengers can study, work, or select some games or movies, using the onboard, fully networked multimedia applications.
  • Virtual court’s in session — judge, prosecution and defense, defendant, witnesses, and jury attend the trial remotely, each from a different location, saving time and money. Trial transcript and legal precedents are immediately accessible.
  • Storage devices will be integrated into single units. Instead of several bulky, tethered devices operating independently of one another, every tool imaginable will be contained in one unit – networked and wireless. The device will be smaller than a deck of cards and as powerful as the Internet and super computers it will access.
  • No more waiting to neither launch a session nor need to sign off, in 2020 sessions never end. Sensors run non-stop.
  • Wireless and sensory devices will be everywhere –- Sensors that monitor location and detect troubles will be embedded in every public utility, product, system and building. Simultaneously, sensors will also be retrofitted on existing infrastructure, goods, hardware — even ourselves.
  • Trillion concurrent sessions, global hand-offs.

Sensory Networks:

  • Nanosensors – Wafer-thin, cheap sensors will be embedded in virtually everything built in the coming years. They’ll send out constant readings on the host environment to a nanosensor POP — a short-range point of presence.
  • Cheap sensors with energy to last a year or two will be embedded throughout homes, buildings, cars, products, roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure — even ourselves. The Nanosensory POP will be an ad-hoc meshed sensory network gathering sensitive data for consumers, businesses, and governments.
  • Sensors in rugs and walls of homes and buildings, in sidewalks, open fields, and street lights help curtail crime and provide convincing evidence in prosecutions. Burglaries will decline.
  • Programmed robotic agents will handle tasks so that the end user doesn’t have to — they will search, retrieve, and download information. Your robot talks to my robot to set up a date or change an appointment.
  • Sensors will also monitor roads, bridges, machines — sounding alarms that trigger self-administered and warning of failures and security breaches.
  • Chips embedded in the human body will conduct constant check-ups and enable virtual home visits by the doctor.
  • Smart clothing embedded with sensors will make it possible to never get lost because of real-time feeds of GPS data identifying a person’s current location.
  • Restaurants, where people spent five percent of their time, will have LCD displays at each table, next to the salt and pepper. Patrons will consume the latest data, games and multimedia entertainment along with their appetizer, main course and dessert.
  • No more lost and found. Objects will not be misplaced. Sensors will immediately identify where everything is, including glasses, wallet, car keys, and other frequently misplaced items.


Utility Computing – Data Mining and content Distribution

  • Information Mining will transform how we do business. Smart agents will transform the ocean of data flooding every business and worker into strategic intelligence by aggregating and correlating packets into actionable information. Armed with relevant information, workers make better-informed decisions.
  • Telework will enable anyone to work at home or on the road.
  • Local employers will hire workers from around the world because employees can telecommute.
  • People will travel mostly for pleasure – not business.
  • Much travel will become virtual – vacations to distant resorts without leaving home. Telepresence will accept data streams from cameras and ranged sensors at the vacation spot and then reconstruct the sight, smell, and feel on the vacationer’s E-paper display, giving the sensation of actually being there.
  • Virtual social gatherings will seem real as virtual partygoers come together after receiving their e-invitations.
  • Home multimedia appliances will have access to thousands of videos, songs, and educational broadcasts.
  • Traditional universities will re-invent themselves through ad-hoc networks and multimedia technologies.
  • Traditional computer user interfaces (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) will be replaced with voice-response and self-learning agents.
  • Home and office walls, the interiors and exteriors of buildings, public areas, and open spaces will have jumbo, wafer-thin digital screens projecting artwork, photos, multimedia, and live action in more vivid color than the originals.
  • Decision-makers will base their choices on better information, aggregated by the network and accessed by a hand-held device.



  • Security will continue to be critical. The guarantee of security and its seamless delivery is essential.
  • Personal privacy and the security of personal information will emerge as volatile political and economic issues throughout the 21st century.
  • Telling a lie and getting away with it will be much more difficult, because the truth will be readily accessible in digital data generated by sensors tracking a person’s location and behavior.
  • The FBI will report a steady decline in the overall crime rate. Streets will be noticeably safer, as a result of heightened surveillance of public places and enhanced monitoring of parolees and those in correctional facilities.
  • Cyber crime, however, will grow, as burgeoning networks create new opportunities and temptations for hackers and other individuals bent on stealing identities, information, and money.
  • Cyber police will aggressively pursue cyber criminals who are tried in virtual courts in which the judge, prosecutor, defense, witnesses, and jury never leave home.
  • Cybercrime will become a felony, according to rewritten criminal statutes.
  • As networks become more complex, so will security applications. Privacy issues will become more acute, and the need to protect end users and their data will become crucial. There will be sensors and cameras everywhere, recording everything, improving safety but violating privacy.
  • According to conservative projections, some 100,000 new software vulnerabilities were detected in 2011 – a new bug every five minutes.
  • In 2020, however, information security will be tighter than it is now. Between now and then, unfortunately, a digital Pearl Harbor could well occur, an event that triggers a sweeping review, overhaul and tightening of security.
  • Networks themselves will become smarter. Hardware-embedded security applications will create a safe landscape for communications. Security guidelines and assumptions will be reinvented. Audit trials will be critical to security, and global legal systems will change to enhance privacy and security.



  • Life in general will be enhanced, with more leisure time, more freedom, and more efficiency in everyday living. But these improvements will be accompanied by a loss of privacy as sensors track our location and actions.
  • Wireless will be everywhere – at home, in cars, airplanes, outdoors, every building, delivering a new generation of services wherever people go. From its humble origins as 56k-capacity dial up connection in 1988, broadband could well reach 1.2 Gbps – delivering Gigabit Ethernet to end devices.
  • All applications will be able to run on IP.
  • Reliability and security will be harmonized in applications, networks, computing, and storage devices.
  • Greater functionality will be built in at the edges of the network (Dedicated Service POPs)
  • Internet software architecture will become software architecture for homes and businesses. Mobile IP will inhere in every device, the basis of instant services everywhere, for everyone.
  • We will enjoy seamless access to all applications, giving us freedom and unfettered mobility. Our location will have more to do with information linkages – not our location in time and space. Workers will work from home, while companies will find employees outside their immediate physical area. IP will propel corporate productivity.

Wireless Internet Will Be Big.

Wireless will effortlessly deliver multimedia. Sensors, video cameras, and command-and-control centers will all rely on wireless communications. We’ll be able to dial down the thermostat or turn off the lights from 3,000 miles away.

  • Already, some 200 million people have used wireless Internet, which represents 40 percent of people with Internet access. Amazingly, nearly one in ten people in rural China have surfed the Internet using Wi-Fi. The accelerating deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots will help fuel the wireless Internet revolution, enabling access by hand-helds, laptops, and PDAs. By 2020, the Internet will be a fully integrated part of our lives.

4G Wireless makes possible a full realization of the so-called distributed operation model. Untethered employees can now go wherever their assignment takes them – a campus setting or a satellite office.

Death of Locality – IP Address is Geographically Independent:

  • Today we are seeing the first steps toward a “virtual World” – a world where we’re no longer tied to place, a world where people work through the network and not in their offices. The prison of locality will evaporate as virtualization becomes commonplace. Through the IP network and its immediate access to data anywhere, the world will become the neighborhood. Physical and conceptual boundaries will disappear. We will not just delocalize work or entertainment, but also the act of thinking.
  • As early as 2012, one-third of the U.S. work force will telecommute — 50.9 million people working regularly at home at least part-time. Projected advances in remote-access technologies and ever-widening broadband may propel teleworkers to become the majority of the U.S. labor force and the labor force in many other countries.


It comes down to a new era of multimedia where a policy-based, predictive and proactive approach will be used to provide end devices with the information they need, when they need it.

Ultimately, demand and end-user acceptance will greatly influence what changes take place — and what technologies and services become ubiquitous.

The technology may be there, and the service deployed, but, in the end, the marketplace will determine which technologies and services succeed or fail.