Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Development of telecommunications and Finnish Pioneers

I went yesterday night to the monthly meeting's Helsinki chapter. There were not that many participants this time, but quality and quantity do not necessarily go hand in hand. I was introduced to Mr. Rana Sinha who is running a cross-cultural training business in Helsinki. He is a cosmopolitan and well-traveled person as are Hannes and Lidia who were there, too.

A lively and interesting discussion varied a lot; from making business presentations to musical performances, from global warming to multi-cultural issues, from chemical industry to high-tech industry.

While on the latter topic a question of the inventor of SMS (text messages) was raised. The inventor was a Finnish Telecom engineer, Mr. Matti Makkonen. The idea was developed by Makkonen and two other Telecom Finland employees while on a lunch break in a GSM standard conference in Copenhagen. Did Matti become a billionaire because of his invention? Unfortunately not.

The history of Internet was discussed from Arpanet to current spam mail problems. I recalled the time in 1986 when sending email on Internet was not that easy. In my office in Cambridge, Mass. I had a large chart on the wall where all known computers connected a net were drawn. In order to send an email message I had to write the physical route in the header in order for my message to find its way. At the same time Dr. Juha Heinänen from Telecom Finland was co-operating with Cisco in developing the IP Router which revolutionized the TCP/IP traffic. Did Juha become a billionaire because of his invention? Unfortunately not.

No comments: