The emergence of mobile cloud computing

Did yo know that digital media entertainment (DME) traffic currently represented by the iPhone is already 35 times higher than that created by traditional handsets? Many analysts believe that most mobile apps will move from being handset-centric (thick-clients) to the cloud so that mobile terminals will run applications directly from the cloud – especially as apps become larger and feature rich. Today, this is not necessarily the case.

Take iPhone for example – where users purchase and download apps from iTunes AppStore for running them on the phone, although some apps may support back-end processing and data storage as well. Evidently this will change – and why shouldn’t it? Mobile cloud computing is certainly just another method of delivering software applications in a service fashion over the network – in this case wirelessly, e.g. via WiFi and mobile broadband networks such as 3G and WiMax. Mobile network equipment manufacturers and providers are promising that their future Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) platforms will support approximately 170Mbit/s data rate speed (uplink and downlink) in each cell – although in reality the throughput is probably going to be somewhat lower. Obviously the available speed will be dynamically distributed between users within each cell – the more users the less bandwidth for each user.

Users will be able to seamlessly transfer from WiFi networks to mobile operator broadband networks, and vice versa, without necessarily knowing what network he or she is accessing at any particular time. The handset, e.g. smartphone, will make sure that it is selecting and using the most beneficial connection in terms of cost and quality.

Mobile cloud computing

Clearly, this will improve user experience and flexibility and enhance service delivery. Users can access SaaS apps irrelevant of their device, fixed or wireless, PC or smartphone. It should be noted that many analysts, including ABI Research, assert that cloud computing will soon become a disruptive force in the mobile world and, eventually, becoming the dominant way in which mobile applications operate and are delivered.