I joined Cisco as a CTO about six months ago from Motorola, so I had the opportunity to work for the company that invented the cell phone, and now I am working for the company that’s running the Internet. Mobility as a term has existed for a long time and for a long time it was synonymous with wireless and cell phones for voice. Now that has changed in the last few years, and that’s because of the massive scale of mobile-phone use and adoption.
For example, every second four babies are born and every second 30 phones are sold. The way we are connected today is just mind blowing. So, what are the drives and challenges behind the mobile Internet?
First, let’s take a slight detour where we think back to the 18th and early 19th centuries and if you thing back to that era it’s probably one of the most memorable milestones in the human era of innovations where we started taking our scientific discoveries and turning them into something that’s commercially valuable. Things like the steam engine, railroads and the cotton gin. That allowed us to think about how to use technology to change human lifestyle.
So to think back to the last few years and think about what are the most fundamental changes we have seen. There are two big changes with the adoption of mobile devices and the Internet, which has been the catalyst in terms of globalizing human innovation and making the world flat.
It’s proven to be a challenge to bring these two things together, but more recently we are beginning to see these things converge. In my view we will stop talking about the mobile Internet and the Internet will be pervasive.
That will shape the future. In the past the flow of capital and innovation that flowed from developed markets to emerging markets and now capital and innovation flows back and forth. We are entering globalization 2.0, and the flat world concept is somewhat dated. Innovation will tap into the ideas of billions and globalization will be something we see every day.
Innovation itself will change. Before the industrial revolution and used to be the innovation from the solitary genius and with the help with the Internet now there’s open innovation. But it is still not completely free from restraint. We still look for ideas from corporations and startups. But as innovation changes we will move away from the concept of brainstorming to brainforming because of the way the Internet and people can work together. When you get an idea using collaborative technologies the old paper-based brainstorming way was laborious and inaccurate. I use Twitter and today I can put an idea up and people react immediately and I am able to sift and formulate my ideas. In this way technology makes us able to bring ideas to market faster.
New technologies will drive this. In the ’60s we had modems that delivered 300 bits per second and today we have terabit network speeds. By 2010 we’ll have 10 Tbps speeds. With the bandwidth expansion we will reduce the latency and the user experience will be optimized. This will drive multiple applications we have not thought about into the picture.
That’s important for all networks because remember in the future the Internet and the mobile Internet there will be just one.
There are three big multibillion opportunities for the Internet:
Video which is a $20B opportunity
Collaboration which is a $34B opportunity
Virtualization which is a $85 billion opportunity.
But I’m only going to talk today about video. Video used to be a passive way to consume content with a one-way broadcast, but now we’ve reached the era of interactive. Going forward the evolution of video will move from interactive communications to combine with social aspects to create what I call visual networking.
But the technology is preventing us from deploying video. There’s already a lot of strain on the current internet platform. At Cisco we added 453 percent capacity to our own internal network. But we can’t jsut add capacity. We have to create an optimized network for the idiosyncrasies of video. We lack traffic management, the ability to prioritize bandwidth and those things have to be incorporated into the Internet today for video. We we see that as being the medianet.
There are challenges in this space and the majority of them have to do with business challenges because the mobile world has a very different business model than the one developed on the Internet.
Mobile Operating Systems: There are 4-5 existing today and some are proprietary and some are open and that’s very confusing for apps developers
Standards and regulations: There are no standards in the mobile world and regulation drives what frequencies get utilized and that has to do with having multiple radios.
Security and presence and policy: Especially true in the enterprise world. It’s not just identity that’s improtant, but also policy what do I give you access to once I know who you are.
In the past we used to think about the consumer and enterprise worker. Today we talk about the user.
In the past we talked about the public and private network and today we talk about the network.:
In the past we talked about compartmentalizing our life. Today it’s anytime anywhere.
In the past creating and consuming were two different things and today we are talking about collaboration and sharing.
We need to stop thinking about the mobile world and the Internet as two seprarate thigns and start bringing thsoe things together.