Internet and mobile world conference in Bucharest – day 1
Today was the first day of the Internet & Mobile World conference in Bucharest. I attended quite a few presentations, mostly presentations of case studies, with more focus on the bigger picture and less on the in-depth solution and implementation.
One concept present in two of them caught my attention – Remote Expert. The idea is simple: give access to experts to a wider range of people through some kind of teleconferencing means. Practically it is an older concept, but I like that it is becoming mainstream. Two speakers from Cisco presented its applications in banking and healthcare. A bank in Canada opened branches in remote areas and created in those branches hi-def teleconferencing rooms to offer its clients access to a wider area of financial experts. The second case study was in the healthcare industry with a focus on its applications on SMURD, the Romanian medical emergency service. Highly trained doctors from four main medical centers were connected with smaller divisions in remote areas and they were able to save lives through their expertise.
I was just leaving these presentations and I got the chance to test a similar application in the banking industry. Citibank, one of the leaders in the online banking market in Romania, launched OnlineBranch. It is an online service, so even accessible to a broader range of people, through which you can discuss with the bank financial advisers. Unfortunately the internet connection was poor and I couldn’t connect. It supposed to work from a mobile phone as well, but 3G connection wasn’t again enough. I personally think that this kind of low bandwidth cases should be targeted too, but I’m confident that they will remedy this in the future.
And if we’re talking about bandwidth, I gladly saw that satellite internet is becoming cheaper. At one of the booth, Tooway was advertising its home packages, starting with 20 EUR/month (for 2Mbps download and 1Mbps upload for first 2Gb). It is not yet affordable for the average consumer, but my hopes are high for the next few years.