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Abstract

The entire telecommunications industry is going through very difficult times. Rapidly changing technology, lack of good business models, and lack of visibility in the near-term for renewed growth all create an uncertain environment. Yet, the global Internet is becoming a multi-service network infrastructure that can potentially replace existing disparate voice and data networks. Although it is widely believed in the telecommunications industry that network convergence of voice, data, video, and images is an industry driver, not much attention has yet been paid to a key proposition: what value does network convergence bring to business and residential customers? This paper explains how different industries are converging; the technological, economic and regulatory forces that are at play and how the various customer segments can benefit from network convergence. While technological advancement is transforming industry and business models rapidly, one question keeps coming back to haunt managers: Where is the business value? We illustrate the value proposition of convergence (for various players) by first explaining the paradigm shifts happening across industries and then highlighting the "high velocity spiral" of knowledge dissemination theory that is fueled by convergence.

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