There are thousands of new technologies, and to keep up . . . with even the top 10 - is a never-ending battle. Here we will discuss the top new standards, protocols, concepts, and designs.
Since there are so many areas to explore - the trick is to whittle them down, and concentrate on those with promise. So first off - there are a few primary areas where an explosion of R&D is occurring. Some, such as VOIP, are not new - but are making such tremendous strides recently, that they need to be included in this section :
VOIP (Voice Over IP) - H.323, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), IAX, etc.
VoE (Voice over Ethernet) - http://www.mrv.com/technology/voice_over_ethernet.php
Wireless - WiFi, WiMAX, WLAN's, Blackberry, Bluetooth, etc.
VPN's (Virtual Private Networks) - IPsec, SSL, MPLS, VPLS, etc.
Data Access & Transport methods - Cable, Fiber, FSO (Free-Space Optics), POS (Packet Over Sonet), EOS (Ethernet Over Sonet) & Metro Ethernet (802.3ah), GigE (Gigabit Ethernet at 10 Gbps - 802.3ae), - PoE (Power over Ethernet) 802.3af - which describes DTE Power via MDI (Media Dependent Interface), BPL (Broadband over Power Line), etc.
Security, Security, Security !!!
DWDM & CWDM (Dense/Course Wave Division Multiplexing) - also called Lambda Switching
Other areas include PoE (Power over Ethernet, or Ethernet PON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) - IEEE 802.3af).
The landscape in voice & data communications is headed in a direction known as "convergence". Simply put, the goal is to converge voice and data traffic onto a single network.