Akamai, Ericsson Pair Up for the Mobile Content Tango

February 14th, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

Early this Valentine’s Day morning in Barcelona, Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings) have announced an exclusive strategic alliance focused on mobile cloud acceleration solutions.  That’s sort of the buzzword-du-jour trifecta there, tying together three of the most powerful tech memes of early 2011 into a tight little bundle.  The two will focus their efforts on things like mobile e-commerce, enterprise applications, and internet content – which pretty much covers everything I’d say.

This is all about figuring out how the internet should work when it has billions continuously moving endpoints in addition to the billions of merely stationary ones that already far exceed the wildest dreams of what it was originally designed for.  While in some ways the details of the design and operation of content delivery networks seem like they ought to apply to content fed from wireless towers just as well as from cable head ends, that ubiquitous mobility turns the whole thing into vastly different problem than either the original mobile networks or CDNs were designed to solve.  For all the PR and punditry, I don’t think anyone has more than a murky view of how networks will evolve from here.

So an alliance between Ericsson’s vast mobile network operations experience and Akamai’s undisputed leadership of the CDN space makes a lot of sense.  As for where the cloud fits into all this, it’s the raw material with which they must work if they hope to scale whatever they come up with.  As with all PR though, they do tend to assume that an alliance means they’ve already accomplished what they’ve just asked the engineers to consider thinking about.  Lots of work ahead for this alliance and everyone else working along similar lines.  Notice though that the Akamai/Ericsson alliance doesn’t include a network operator directly, not a PTT, ILEC, or even nextgen fiber network.  Hmmm… I suppose Akamai has always felt it has that end covered.

Ah well, they do have time.  Reality always lags the media’s expectations in terms of internet trends.  For some perspective, the percentage of visits to this website from mobile devices has been rising rapidly but still only managed to reach 6% in January.  And that’s amongst some very connected people from the telecom & internet sectors.  But it’s still going up at a rate of 10%.  Monthly.

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Categories: Cloud Computing · Content Distribution · Wireless

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