Optical/IP Networks

AT&T: The CES Cloud Question

2:25 PM -- LAS VEGAS -- 2012 International CES -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s plans to get towards a more distributed and global mobile cloud architecture -- with developer programs like Cloud Architect -- is interesting and a savvy early step on Ma Bell's part.

There seems to me, however, to be more heavy-lifting and big spending that needs to go before we see these ambitious plans achieved by AT&T.

"Localized but interoperable" and "global" were key phrases for AT&T CTO John Donovan as he spoke Monday at AT&T's developer summit here. "It's a collection of droplets just like a real cloud," he said.

This sounds great, but doing things like delivering a user's stored video anywhere in the world over a localized connection sounds like a massive undertaking if you actually think about what that would mean in infrastructure terms.

As well as requiring comprehensive fast 3G -- if not Long Term Evolution (LTE) -- coverage. It seems to me that it would likely mean more spending on data centers and core technology like signaling.

Think about the major investment in data centers Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) made for its iCloud service alone.

Maybe this investment is happening behind the scenes. But I'm certainly not hearing about it from AT&T -- or any other major carrier for that matter -- at the moment.

A comprehensive mobile cloud service cannot just be a fluffy matter for any carrier. We need some more concrete numbers on carrier infrastructure investments in the mobile cloud to know how serious the service is.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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