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Paradigm Changes: Network Infrastructure V

5. From Infrastructure to Fabric
In the coming years the number of local network, both deployed by a variety of owners (residential, shops, malls, municipalities …) will keep growing and in addition we will see a variety of objects creating networks, smart phones, computers but also cars, light poles, appliances, implants embedded in human and animals bodies …
This will result, particularly in urban environments, in very dense and overlapping networks, A device, a terminal, an objects needing to communicate will find itself immerse in a variety of networks and will be able to choose the most appropriate one (which means the one that can provide the cheapest connection, or the one requiring less energy budget, or the one offering most bandwidth or lower delay…).
The Network Operator will be one network provider among many, and competition on quality/price will increase.
Owning the customer (object) identity and providing the authentication will be a competitive advantage, and many will come up to provide these services, not just the Telecom Operators.
Big pipes will get bigger and the number of global (regional) providers will sharply decrease. Regulation will be slowing or accelerating this evolution but I have no doubt that the infrastructures as we know them today will be morphing from a perceptual standpoint into communications fabric.
As today we are concerned with handover capabilities among access points owned by the same Operator and working with the same protocol (eg 3G) in the next decade the handover will take place across access points owned by different players and will make use of different technologies/protocols still keeping the integrity of the transaction.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. He's currently the Chair of the Symbiotic Autonomous Systems Initiative of IEEE-FDC. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and up to September 2018 he was the Head of the EIT Digital Industrial Doctoral School. Previously, up to December 2011, he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books. He writes a daily blog,  http://sites.ieee.org/futuredirections/category/blog/, with commentary on innovation in various technology and market areas.