At its recent Business Innovation Forum, Ericsson claimed that, within five years, 70% of cloud service users will access their services via mobile, not fixed broadband.
While we are familiar with growth forecasts for mobile broadband, it’s not clear if this particular prediction will change matters. We think it might, as interaction with cloud services will create not just demand on the downstream side, but also generate significant new upstream traffic. And, we are not talking P2P or consumer traffic, we are considering potentially valuable data that is associated with enterprise functions.
Such data will need to be addressed with the appropriate priority, class of service and to be secured to the correct level. This means that cloud service providers will need to consider the demands of their users in terms of application performance. Best effort is not good enough for business users paying a premium for an application or service.
Investments in downstream capacity seem to be an obvious requirement, but service providers must also consider how they will ensure application performance in the upstream direction. After all, cloud services are not typically one-way. Much of the data associated with enterprise focused cloud services will originate at the client device. Currently, service providers have no adequate means of addressing this problem. They will need to implement solutions that enable traffic to be prioritised before it leaves the client device and to ensure that the correct resources are available in the network.