Monday, May 27, 2024

    EDITORIAL Charity, magazine subscriptions and Stormzy – telemedia travels far and wide

    Some weeks a theme presents itself across the stories in Telemedia-online telling a compelling story about an emerging trend or a new way of doing things. This week, that trend is less clear: there have been such as wide range of topics covered it is hard to knit them together.

    However, that is the theme isn’t it? There is now such a rich diversity in what constitutes ‘telemedia’ that it is appearing in every facet of telecoms-related life. It is truly mainstream. Finally.

    Where Fonix handling £10million in text donations for Comic Relief in the UK would once have been a massive coup, now it is notable only because that is what we expect from carrier billing and charity.

    EE rolling out a live gig by Stormzy across 5G– the first in the world – is remarkable because it is fledgling technology, yet here it is: and we expect nothing less than Stormzy to show how it’s done.

    Magazine publisher CDS Global looking to add contactless sign up and payment for mag subscriptions to actual magazines and inserts should be the stuff of Star Trek, but today it is taken as, if you’ll pardon the pun, read.

    And GDPR being a year old is just one of those things like policeman getting younger: they all grow up so fast these days.

    The point I am trying to convey is that after years at the periphery of modern culture, the tenets of telemedia technology – contactless and seamless payments, using text and mobile to move money around, telecoms becoming a place to broadcast and interact and the tie up between technology, content, publishers and marketing – are now the mainstream goals of many organisations.

    Finally, we can use our devices to pay for things – and we can even put that on our phone bill if we so choose. The convenience of simple two click payments for charity donations, magazine subscriptions, car parking, travel, ticketing and more is now the norm and something that the younger generation for sure all take for granted.

    This is real progress.

    Sadly, it comes at a time where the very fundamental freedom of the internet which has long underpinned much of what telemedia is built upon is under threat. The idea of Net Neutrality– and the impedance thereof – is something that most people take for granted. Every web connection is treated the same and gets the same content that it asks for. Only this truth is being eroded slowly.

    Here in Europe it is enshrined in EU law, but ISPs are starting to undermine that and, with China and the US both wavering on whether Net Neutrality should continue – and with the UK set to leave the jurisdiction of the EU eventually – this is an issue that is going to impact as all. Not today. Not tomorrow. But it is coming and, while it is good to celebrate how the telemedia industry has infiltrated so many layers of culture and the mobile eco-system, to paraphrase Game of Thrones, Winter is coming.

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