Will Shoddy Wireless Networks Darken the Cloud?

by Matt Klassen on June 10, 2011

It’s becoming abundantly clear that cloud technology is the future of computing, with the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and most recently Apple, moving the hub of your digital existence away from the PC and onto its third-party cloud servers. But the cloud doesn’t come without complications, as constant connection with third party servers means a significant increase in data traffic, an issue that has left wireless carriers wondering if the cloud means that there’s a serious storm on the horizon.

The reality is that even with the continued rollout of next generation 4G LTE wireless technology; carriers are barely able to find the bandwidth or achieve the network stability needed to keep up with the exponentially increasing data demands of today’s mobile users.

Add to that the fact that mobile companies like Google and Apple seem largely unaware or apathetic about the plight of the current wireless system when developing the latest and greatest technology, and it seems like a recipe for disaster.

It’s hard to know who to blame in this situation, as there’s a distinct symbiotic co-dependency that exists between the two sides. Cloud developers like Apple, Google et al. and developing their cloud with reckless abandon, getting users excited about the prospect of having their entire digital lives available on any device at the touch of a button. On the flip side, of course, you have the anaemic American wireless industry, a market that has more bandwidth at its disposal than any other global market yet continues to struggle to keep up with the current non-cloud data demands.

While it seems easy to blame the wireless carriers for their inept network management and poor use of available bandwidth, its clearly in the best interests of the cloud companies to help find a solution to this problem as well, as users will likely start to increasingly avoid advanced cloud devices if they don’t deliver on their promises of speed, power, and ease-of-use.

To that end, it looks like at least some of the companies pushing for cloud technology are keenly aware of the extant network issues. As Fared Adib, vice president of product development for Sprint Nextel, explains, “The sense we’ve gotten from working with Google is that they get it…They know we have to balance the traffic loads with the service they’re trying to offer. And the truth is none of us want the consumer to have a bad experience.”

In fact, operable cloud technology on stable wireless networks is clearly in everyone’s interest, as for carriers alone it means increased data revenues and increased revenues from the multiple devices people will be enticed into buying with promises of instant access to their digital life.

But that said, the networks are still shoddy, the technology is still developing quickly, and the dark clouds on the horizon may still mean a serious storm is in store for the the mobile world.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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