Multimedia, Integrated Systems and Electronic Commerce in Europe.

 Stockholm, Sweden. 21-23 June 1999.

 Internet and the Convergence.  

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One can reasonably consider that the convergence will depend of progresses concerning Internet and the radiophone.

            Internet is a sector that remains not regulated for technical reasons.

Indeed, Singapore, Vietnam and China have tried the regulation with intern restrictions that are relatively illusory.

            European mobile radiophone European, was not in monopoly but in exploitation, in general, by at least two operators, with a private one

If we can think of a development of the information society, and therefore of the convergence in Central and Oriental European countries, it seems, according to observed repercussions of radiophone, of Internet and of the audiovisual distribution by satellite, that developing countries will not be connected before long time despite the will that we distinguishes in our section, NEUROMEDIA AFRICA.

The convergence puts therefore, if we considers that Internet is the instrument, an intellectual protection problem particularly difficult.  Indeed, today, before the release of album of known or not know singers, one can find their albums under file MPEG 3 and in numerical quality.  This phenomenon isn’t new because the discotheque proposed a ver large choice of discs since a long time and the consumption of music is well superior that that is evaluated by the sales.

The development of powerful computer and of Internet connection by cabled systems allows access to a TV and radio choice bigger than the traditional choice.  National musical teams could be listen outside the simple national framework.  It’s the end to the restriction concerning the market of the music industry what is a good thing concerning the development an European culture. All restrictive measure concerning national radios, if it has an effect on the choice of producers of discs that influences, notably in France, the choice of the one and only programmer of  FM radio (one programmer per radio), is today illusory. To impose 40% French music on national radios in France does not mean that people will listen 40% French music in the context of convergence.

However in France the convergence by Internet is blocked by:

* Minitel, considered wrongly as a substitute for Internet.  Many banks impose use of Minitel. It’s necessary to take a specific subscription to access to the web. A bank has recently given a free choice between the two means.

* the property of the cable system the public French operator that has blocked the connection to Internet by the cable as to favor the use of Internet by the local phone where the firm is in position of monopoly from now to 2005 for technical reasons.  The separation of the two activities proposed by the Commission is good thing.

Concerning radio, the installation of numerical technology is important to the to answer to ask of frequencies which is bigger than the offer.  Indeed, the community radios are sometimes disfavored, or because of too raised dues. The adaptation of receivers to the Hertz numerical norm could be difficult if we have a look at the development of the Radio

Data System (RDS).  Concerning television there is a swelling of offer that seems sometimes very artificial.

The main problem is a great disparity and an incompatibility of systems (PAL, SECAM, NTSC).  This problem is relatively restrained on Internet even if it’s sometimes necessary to load a lot of software to have access to all services.  However, one can imagine a radio or TV distribution only by Internet.  The reception would be possible on a very extensive territory without problem of compatibility and especially with a difficulty concerning taxation and copyrights.  States of reception cannot put a barrage to the reception of such broadcast in the respect of the directive “Television without Borders» (97/ 36/CE revising 89/552/CE.)

GENERATION TELEVISION will be launched on the American north territory on 1999. The program of this international TV (satellite, cable and LPTV) is made by and for the international young people from 15 to 30 years.

GENERATION TELEVISION has for priority to invest in the new technologies and to be ready for the convergence.

Its interactive web server will allow its viewers to converse between them and with the channel without software another one that a navigator. Besides programs will be available in real audio and a large part in real video, particularly its broadcast on the new technologies.

The programs, some program translation in French particularly, the musical and film information, of the channel and of others organisms, will be available Internet, by teletext, by enrollment, by E-mail.

A service of contact and announcements between viewers will be available.

The important diagrams will be reduced to allow connections of low debit and machines little powerful to get a fast service.

Parts no interactive and informative will be fully available by teletext.

GENERATION TELEVISION also foresees to support the connection to Internet by the cable and the satellite and to develop interactively.

 Concerning the radiophone, the installation of UMTS from 2002 will put a problem of compatibility with GSM that have particularly developed lately. The use of the GSM norm in the contrary of the analogical norm is always in the mood since firms prepare Mobile phone for GSM900/GSM1800 and that North America uses frequency GSM800/GSM1900. If UMTS allows the rapid connection to Internet, its universal interest remains limited if North America doesn’t adopt it before a long time considering its great territory and the persistence of the analogical norm. There is a phenomenon of convergence concerning mobile phone because a French operator allows to receive E-Mail on the screen of mobile phone and another operator allows the transmission of written messages write to by web. The mobile communication costs as compared to the normal communication are very largely superior despite the fact that they replace increasingly fix phone for small companies and for students.  The problem of the cost, that, if it was a real cost, would have to be similar to the cost of the normal communication, and the low speed of GSM transmission with special subscription and equipment costly enough blocks the convergence.  (To see « L’Etat de l’Union 98/13. » NEUROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL. 6th Delegated Presidency for the Representation of Excelsior International Holding Inc. ISBN 2 –9512235-1-X.) Moreover, it’s the caller who supports the cost, often without knowing it.

It’s obvious that the answer to the principle of subsidiarity, is, in this field positive. The Commission allowed in Europe, but also in 210 countries and for 230 operators to use only one norm, the GSM.  (To see “ L’Etat de l’Union 97/50. » NEUROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL. 6th Delegated Presidency for the Representation of Excelsior International Holding Inc. 05 /12 / 1997. ISBN 2-9512235-0-1.) The Commission has to regulate to avoid a multiplication of norms that exists already concerning television. The computers having programs allowing to decode a great number of switchboards and 16/9 residing marginal, there are great odds in order that computer supersedes the traditional television. We could open a window for TV and a word processing window, or to listen the music by making other thing with the same computer.

The directive of 28 November 1997 on the declaration of measures taken in the area of the

Information society is a good action.  It is regrettable that its field could not cover the telecommunication and the radio television.

The Commission is also the guarantee for the “Universal Service », that it isn’t already respected.  Indeed, in France the refusal to be in the directory gives place to the payment of a tax (contrary to notice of the European parliament) and the place for the owners of radiotelephones in the directory isn’t effective (for all operators). That puts a problem for the people, increasingly numerous, who doesn’t have fix phone.

The Commission has also to take directives to allow handicap them to power use the new technologies more easily.  The installation of a point in relief to the level of 5 on the mobile phone is useful for the blind people and it doesn’t exist on one mobile on two while this adaptation is relatively easy.

The electronic trade puts the problem of the taxation.  This problem is important if we consider that the turn over of this type of trade will be 200 billions Ecus on year 2000.  (To see« Written contribution concerning Electronic Trade for the European Parliament. » NEUROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL.  Written Documents composed by Laurent D. Faure.  Volume 1. 1994-1997.  ISBN 2-9512235-0-1. ) Indeed, it is possible to avoid the taxes by buying out EC.  This technique is developed notably concerning music, car rental and journey.

The information society and the convergence will change radically the manner to work. Increasingly of professions will have to learn to a minimal technological knowledge in addition to their trade of basis (notably for jurists). It has to wait the convergence an improvement of figures of the unemployment of not qualified people. New trades will be created but they will necessitate a qualification and a training learnt by the practice and in the books. The phone on Internet that can know a relatively rapid development, as one sees already in Germany will necessitate without doubting the distinct regulation plug before 2000 as proposes the Commission.  As a rule the convergence not to would know find a legal framework in the continuation of the existent disparate framework.  European rules are a necessity that will be difficult for put in place, but the alone valid to counterbalance the American power.  It is necessary from then on to prevent the plug of regulation that would become very rapidly incompatible with an European regulation. 


This page last updated on July 2nd, 2002.
Copyright Laurent D. FAURE and NEUROMEDIA 2002.