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Mobiles to propel Internet growth: Cerf

Mobiles to propel Internet growth: Cerf
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First Published: Wed, Feb 21 2007. 12 09 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Feb 21 2007. 12 09 AM IST
Bangalore: Vinton Gray Cerf, popularly known as one of the founding fathers of the Internet, says mobile phones will propel the growth of the Internet in the next 10 years but predicts companies will face challenges building applications to help users access content faster.
“Companies such as Google will have to figure out new ways of presenting information on mobile devices,” said Cerf, the chief Internet evangelist for Google.
Over 2.5 billion mobile phones are in use across the world, compared to the one billion-odd computers.
The next wave of growth will come from Asia, which has nearly 50% of the world’s population, Cerf said. The world has nearly 1.01 billion Internet users; with close to 400 million in Asian countries.
Cerf, the co-inventor of a technology standard called TCP/IP as well as the basic architecture of the Internet at the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, joined Google in October 2005, with a mandate to identify new enabling technologies and platforms to drive growth of the Internet giant.
“We will see more devices that will create opportunities for new business and services,” Cerf said, citing an example of an entrepreneur in San Diego, who has enabled Internet access on devices such as surfboards and fridges.
“What I am excited about is that the mobile will be the first introduction to the Internet to an awful lot of people,” said Cerf, who is also the chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a body that creates domain names such as .com, .org and .in.
The interesting possibility is on spoken query and response as future for the Internet, which means the network recognising speech of individuals and enabling access to content in audio-playback format.
“What if you are not literate and if we allow spoken interaction on the Net. Then some one who is not literate will still have access to some information on the Internet. It will help in bridging the literacy gap and make the community good,” Cerf told Mint in an interview.
It may be from personal experience that Cerf, whose hearing is impaired and depends on a hearing device and lip-reading skills to converse, is visualizing the possibility of the Internet over speech.
Beyond Google, Cerf is heading the mission that has created a technology protocol called InterPlaNet or IPN, short for Inter-planetary Internet, and is currently in use to connect spacecraft on Mars with ground stations on earth.
The protocol is being tested in villages in the northern part of Sweden, an area where communication even through satellite is difficult.
“It will be quite useful for mobile communications as they are often disrupted. We are quite excited to applying the technology for terrestrial work as well as inter-planetary work,” Cerf said of the project funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
pankaj.m@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Feb 21 2007. 12 09 AM IST
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