BARCELONA: The chief executive of AT&T has argued that mobile applications need to become fully open, device-agnostic ecosystems to take advantage of mobile broadband and cloud computing.
Randall Stephenson said at Mobile World Congress this morning that cloud computing and faster internet speeds on the go will drive a new era of demand from mobile users.
"Mobile broadband was talked about for three or fours years, and now it's a ubiquitous, integral part of business and society, and the same thing is happening with the cloud," he said.
"It was a very nebulous, emerging capability, but is now a very concrete one and it will become a lynchpin of the entire mobile ecosystem."
Companies need to understand that the rise in 4G mobile broadband networks and the cloud means that operators cannot afford to operate within closed environments, according to Stephenson .
"Open interoperable systems are vital, as mobile broadband and cloud computing capabilities will drive the next wave of growth in mobile broadband. We've seen this in a large way with the Amazon Kindle," he said.
"It started out as the only device that ran its content, but Amazon did a very gutsy and savvy move to make it an application that was device- and network-agnostic so that it can be used on multiple devices."
This means that the device can remember where the book was open at the last time it was used on any device, Stephenson added.
"It's a perfect example of how the cloud and mobile internet will combine," he said.
Stephenson warned that operators which failed to see this "tidal wave" will be overtaken by the needs of their customers, as music companies were when illegal music downloading began to proliferate.
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