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AT&T's Hossein Eslambolchi: 'IP Will Eat Everything'

During his Interop 2005 conference keynote address Tuesday, AT&T's president of global networking technology services, CTO, and CIO delivered a Letterman-esque list of predictions for all things involving networks.

During his Interop 2005 conference keynote address Tuesday afternoon, AT&T's Hossein Eslambolchi delivered a Letterman-esque list of his predictions for all things involving networks. Eslambolchi is AT&T's president of global networking technology services, chief technology officer, and CIO.

1. "IP will eat everything," meaning all systems and networks will eventually use Internet-based protocols.

2. "Security is critical." A lot of businesses have "dumb" networks and don't take security seriously, Eslambolchi said. But intelligent networks have to be created, otherwise "we are going to have a problem of biblical proportions in global communications," he said.

3. "Convergence of communications and applications will become a reality--networks will be the computer." Added Eslambolchi: "There is a huge computing power sitting on company networks." This computing power has to be utilized in order to achieve convergence, he said.

4. "Wireless Internet will be big and will drive mobility."

5. "Sensor networks [such as radio-frequency identification technology] will be everywhere."

6. "E-collaboration will dominate the workplace, and it will [result in] biometric security." This will lead to the replacement of personal identification numbers and passwords with biometric technology, he said.

7. "Broadband will be common and will lead to [the] death of locality." There will be a predicted 250 million broadband subscribers in the United States by 2008, Eslambolchi said, and about 1 billion by 2015. Telecommuting will accelerate as the extensive use of IP addresses will allow people to connect to networks anywhere in the world. "Geography means nothing in the IP space," he said.

8. "Wireless and wire lines will converge, accelerating virtualization." The United States lags behind Europe in this area, where the convergence of wired and wireless networks has already taken place, he said.

9. "Knowledge-based mining will transform the way people do business." Companies will move away from information mining and toward knowledge-based mining, he said, which will provide real-time intelligence to react to any type of attack, such as viruses and worms.

10. "Home LANs will proliferate." Ethernet will dominate the home environment, and home users will be able to transfer data of up to 40 Mbps by the end of the decade, he said. More than a predicted 35 million homes will be connected by wireless LANs by 2008.

The bottom line, Eslambolchi said, is that network convergence is driving IT and will change the way businesses use communications technology in the future.

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