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

Mark Tinka mark at tinka.africa
Thu Jan 27 07:44:45 UTC 2022

On 1/27/22 09:32, Saku Ytti wrote:

> I do disagree, if I understood the argument right. If the argument is
> 'cloud makes no business sense to anyone'.

I don't agree that cloud does not make business sense to anyone. There 
is a reason why Amazon, Microsoft and Google are milking it right now, 
so that is not even a discussion.

What I do agree with is that the loss of control of operating your 
network yourself does present a risk. But that is a personal position, 
and has no bearing on the ultimate sensibility of offloading your 
infrastructure to a cloud that is likely to run it better than you, most 
of the year. It's one of the reasons I have no desire to work for an MNO 
as a hardcore engineer - I can't stomach the idea of being a vendor's 
project manager :-).

> Doing the 1st server properly costs several million euros a year,
> since you need competent 24/7 staffing, with sick leaves, holidays (in
> 1st world countries where this is a thing) and attrition taken into
> account. Staff who can do infra, compute, storage, networking (that's
> 4 separate teams usually, each needing overhead for 24/7) who are
> comfortable with working nights.
> This argument 'no one should be using x, x is a fad' happens when
> every new technology appears, literally people object to using paper
> and pen, as it's too convenient for writing thereby causing quality of
> writing to decrease compared to stone tablets. Followed by the
> evilness of books, newspapers, radio, tv, internet and so forth.
> And always these fringe opinions that something is outright bad/good
> gives away to more nuanced views.
> I wonder if these people who object to using the cloud, object to
> using 3rd party data centres outright? Or accept that you don't have
> to build the physical premises where you put the compute, or do you
> have to own that too? If you don't have to own that, why not? Since it
> would seem a difficult position to at same time argue you can't use
> cloud because of lack of control, but you can use 3rd party data
> centres, now you're still lacking control on many types of outages.
> If we need to own everything, where does it end? What can we get from
> 3rd parties? NAND gate? Or can we at least assume we don't have to
> build hydrogen atoms? That we get hydrogen atoms from elsewhere and
> start from that? Why is it that always the objection is something
> contemporary but the rest of the stack is fine to be provided by a 3rd
> party? If you believe you're living in a special period of time, where
> there is fundamental change to this, your position is statistically
> weak.

Yep, agree with all this.

As I've said many times before, classic telco is no longer a model the 
way it used to be, and I hope that rather than fight content the way 
we've been doing for the past 20 years - and failing dismally - we can 
use this opportunity to actually work together and stay relevant, FWIW.

The tides are shifting, and going against the wind has continuously 
worked against us.

Personally, I welcome content getting involved in back-end 
infrastructure. It may be bitter taste for classic telco, but it 
significantly improves the opportunity to connect more people, more 
affordably. Can't argue with that.


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