What do you think about the "cloudification" of mobile?

Mark Tinka mark at tinka.africa
Tue Jan 25 09:12:44 UTC 2022

On 1/19/22 21:52, Michael Thomas wrote:

> There was an article in the Economist (sorry if it's paywalled) about 
> Dish entering the mobile market using an AWS backend. I don't think 
> that AWS brings much more than compute for the most part so I don't 
> really get why this would be a huge win. A win maybe, but a huge win? 
> I can certainly see that not having tons of legacy and accreted 
> inertia is big win, but that's true of any disruptor. In the end they 
> still need base stations, spectrum, backhaul and all of that to run 
> their network, right?
> Am I missing something, or is this mainly hype?
> Mike
> https://www.economist.com/business/will-the-cloud-business-eat-the-5g-telecoms-industry/21806999 

It's behind a pay wall, so can't read the entire article.

But AFAICT, the way AWS's 5G service works is that they can provide an 
entire solution (towers, backhaul, back-end, even SIM cards), or just 
the back-end.

I believe the latter is called Wavelength:


I'd say it is a legitimate threat to traditional MNO's. One does not 
require to build a national-scale mobile network from scratch... if you 
can service a small community of some 500 people in a manner that is 
affordable to them, and gives you a nice return so you can buy some food 
at the end of each month, no reason why that is not a successful and 
sustainable model.

Heck, you probably don't even need to offer classic voice and SMS 
services. There are plenty of IP-based apps that will do this for you, 
and I know many people who have totally given up packages that include 
voice minutes and SMS messages, in favour of data-only services from 
their MNO. They are thriving.

So if a small mobile operator using AWS 5G as a back-end does not need 
to negotiate massive interconnect contracts and deals with other telco's 
in the area, and their handful of customers are fine with just Internet 
access as the only service, makes a lot of sense to me.

As I've been saying for a long time now, the telco model is a dying one. 
Customers only care about the problems we can help them solve, not 
whether we are a Tier-1, or how many TV shows were "Brought to you by..."


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