Telecommunications is now the fastest changing part of the IT industry,
encompassing vast disciplines from distributed systems to real-time
applications. I have had the pleasure of being involved in what I believe
is the most exciting time in its history. It wasn’t always this way, as telecommunications
started out as a novelty: ‘‘An amazing invention, but who
would want to use one?’’ – US President Rutherford B. Hayes after making a
telephone call from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia. Interestingly
however, in 1879, the first telephone was installed in the White House.
At first it was hardly used, because there weren’t many other phones in
Washington to call [WHITEH]....