Telecoms in 2050?

I would like to launch a competition on what telecoms will be in year 2050, i.e., in roughly 30 years from now.  If you look at the last decades, we witnessed the emergence of two technologies, i.e., optical fibre and mobile & wireless communications, that have basically overtaken many others, e.g., fixed radio links, coaxial cables, and ionospheric communications.  Moreover, some things that were considered to be “bad” are now the opposite, e.g., channel randomness initially considered bad due to fading is now considered good as a key element for MIMO.

Let me put forward some contributions to this competition.  Visible light communications are really very high in my list, given the potential that it has to solve many of the current problems.  Energy harvesting from interference is another (I really cannot think of another way to make use of interference, for the time being).  Full virtualisation of networks, with all associated changes, is also progressing to be a major success, enabling a total different offer of services to customers and of business models to many different companies.  But these are just continuation of existing stuff, already being researched in many labs.

A bold hypothesis would be “wireless telepathy”, i.e., communicating with other people just by thinking of something, and transmitting it via an RF implant (even bolder would be to consider that this communication would not require an implant, i.e., the “real telepathy”).  Another one would be the used of BDMA (Biological Division Multiple Access), i.e., the use of DNA to implement an access technique that differentiates users without the need of the current technologies.

So, who’s contributing to this competition?

Luis M. Correia