Lucent says Internet just a start

The revolution occurring in computing today is about much more than the Internet, according to Lucent CEO Rich McGinn.

The revolution is about building a single mega-network that carries everything from voice to data, McGinn told attendees of his Spring Internet World keynote on Wednesday.

He said that soon the network would feature an IP/ATM backbone running on fibre-optic cables.

"Networks of all kinds will act as a unified whole," he said. "It's not going to be a task of Biblical proportions, but one of hard engineering."

One area that McGinn sees changing is voice over the Net. "People aren't interested in a ham radio call," he said. "Conversations [over the Net] today are not a satisfying experience." He called for conferencing standards so users don't need the same software to connect with each other.

He also predicted a fundamental change in the way networks are designed.

"Right now people think if you need more capability, add more boxes," he said. Instead, they should be looking at how to better engineer that network.

Future fixed wireless services will be 10 to 20 times faster than today's offerings and will feature universal roaming, he said. Finally, intelligence will be pushed to devices so that networks can reduce in complexity.

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