Abstract - The Information Society 5(2)

Many Voices, One Structure: The Challenge of Telematics

Jens C Arnbak

The confluence of computers and telecommunications in the telematics sector is being enforced by common developments is hardware and software. In spite of this joint use of modern information technology, a gulf still separates the 2 professional cultures of data processing and public telecommunications. The former is more flexible and capability-oriented; the latter is oriented at higher reliability, standardized performance, and equal access. The critical professional issues behind these differences are examined, arguing that broader education and systems engineering have roles to play in the preparation for the information society. The output of graduates (with an engineering diploma at the master's level) with an understanding of telecommunications must be increased substantially to match current and future demands of the European labor markets. Electrical engineering education should not be limited toclassical process innovation; students should be exposed more to the possibilities and problems of product and service innovation.

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