How Mobile Cloud Computing Is Set To Change The Telecommunications Ecosystem
Cloud computing has impacted the telecommunications industry across crucial fronts and now is in the process of amply changing its ecosystem. The ecosystem here is broad and spans business models, human behavior and technical issues like the Networks versus the End-user devices, Access points, core networks and the services. Just like in a natural ecosystem, adverse changes in the environment will cause organisms to change traits and behaviors in order to adapt to the change. The telecom world is now experiencing the ‘cloud wave’ and will inevitably have to adapt.
The change will come in many forms that may include;
As telecommunication architectures move towards a more cloud-oriented structure, there will be more demand on self-services. This is even more significant in the mobile telecoms where people are now basically utilizing the cloud as the processing power unit for their mobile devices, turning them into high performance utility tools.
Anne Bouverot, Director General GSMA gives an example of a real time translation service (cloud-based) by NTT DOCOMO in Japan. The need for such in a telecom ecosystem is infinitely vast and any ecosystem that supports the conception and sustenance of such will always thrive. Support may come in from the cloud technology, encouraging open source platforms like the Android system which will in turn enrich the ecosystem with billions of day to day solutions to complex applications courtesy of diverse developers.
As we move from the physical to the virtual, new players in the service sector are coming up to feed this need. Cloud service delivery in the new ecosystem is being offered through three kinds of services: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). These services too are anticipated to evolve with improvements or we could witness an entirely new set of services. This means that more telecom companies are relocating their infrastructure to the cloud as the point of service delivery, and more specifically through IaaS. Others will offer value added services through SaaS.
Telecom companies will also be faced with the options of necessary mergers and or strategic organizational and corporate overhaul. Mergers and partnerships will be necessitated by the need for infrastructure and capital consolidation in order to power such companies’ capabilities to set up and offer cloud services. The ecosystem has also been altered by the entry of new players, those whose entry is directly influenced by strategic business decisions. For example, when Amazon-an internet retail site, decided to invest in cloud services, many in the telecom industry had no idea why they were doing this. But as time progressed, their corporate foresight was continually being unveiled. Since traditional telecom service providers still have a sizeable share of the market, they are integrating both methods to improve and come up with new services that are essential.
We can never forecast enough the game-changing abilities of cloud computing technology but we can always be sure of little surprises (mostly pleasant) along the way. As long as the cloud lives, change in the telecom ecosystem is inevitable.
By John Omwamba