As the World Wide Web approaches its thirtieth anniversary, the question arises of whether businesses and consumers can still trust the original model of the WWW to serve the needs of a much-changed marketplace. In 1991, the first year of the WWW, smartphones didn’t exist, “broadband” speeds maxed out at around 512 kilobits per second and Google was still years away. By contrast, there are 3.5 billion smartphones in the world today, 5G promises speeds up to nearly 20,000X faster than 512 kbps and Google serves an estimated 3.8 million searches every minute.
At Affirmed, we believe the WWW needs to adapt to a new age: the World Wide Wireless Web. The WWWW is designed for a mobile world where consumers expect seamless broadband connectivity, a rich ecosystem of mobile applications and cloud-based services. The WWWW will be built around five unique characteristics that will drive the mobile applications and services of the future.
The 5 Unique Characteristics of WWWW (World Wide Wireless Web)
#1. A “mobile-first” approach
When the WWW was first developed, mobile devices were treated as second-class citizens. The web experience was tailored around computers and, later, laptops, with little thought given to how applications and pages would display on mobile devices. As mobile becomes the predominant platform, the roles of mobile and desktop devices will reverse. Web services and content will be tailored to mobile experiences (e.g., the move to accelerated mobile pages), including rich content such as video and online gaming. Retooling the web as a mobile experience presents a variety of challenges for mobile operators, including the need for higher bandwidth, lower latency, strong security and identity controls and, most importantly, the ability to quickly launch new mobile services to support enterprise and consumer use cases.
#2. Dynamic, seamless connectivity
The “wireless” in WWWW will be a combination of cellular and Wi-Fi technologies that will deliver consistent service in and out of buildings and other locations. There are a lot of things that mobile network operators will need to do to make this happen, from network slicing to flexible pricing. For example, a mobile operator may want to offer better experiences or lower pricing for Wi-Fi sessions versus LTE or 5G sessions. Some of the technologies that will make this happen include network slicing, real-time analytics and edge-based services.
#3. An intelligent, distributed edge
Building off my previous point, an intelligent, distributed network edge will be critical for mobile operators because of the requirements for low latency and high bandwidth on many 5G services. Augmented/virtual reality applications are just one example of this. Real-time telemedicine is another. Over time, more face-to-face services will shift to Facetime-to-Facetime (or similar) services, requiring a distributed versus centralized deployment model. Moving services to the edge also requires an agile, cloud-native architecture that can leverage microservices and containers to quickly spin up and spin down new services as local demand dictates, which brings us to…
#4. Virtualized, cloud-native core
Services will be the cornerstone of the WWWW. Mobile network operators will need to transition into digital service providers in order to pursue new revenue opportunities. To date, the mobile operator model for service creation has been byzantine compared to the agile, fail-fast model of the digital-native companies (Amazon, Google, Spotify, etc.). DevOps-driven processes will require a vastly different service creation environment; one powered by a webscale architecture and featuring container-based microservices that can be quickly assembled to create new services.
#5. Everything as a Service
It started with Software as a Service, followed by networks, platforms, infrastructure, etc. Ultimately, everything will be offered as a cloud-consumable service. This is a very different operating model for communications service providers who have historically built their networks by hardware accretion. The ability to deploy and deliver services in the cloud is a potential game-changer for mobile operators, as it can dramatically reduce costs while increasing network agility. Most mobile operators, however, have limited experience with cloud technologies, which can make this a potentially disruptive transition without the right partners and platform.
Affirmed: Your connection to the WWWW world
At Affirmed, you could say the future is our business. We’ve been building virtual, cloud-based networks from day one. Today, we offer an unmatched portfolio of cloud-native, 5G-ready solutions for mobile operators that include the industry’s first fully virtualized mobile core platform, real-time virtualized analytics, IoT solutions including advanced virtual network slicing capabilities, a microservices-based service creation environment and much more. The World Wide Wireless Web is coming, but the opportunity to lead is narrowing. If you want to join the mobile leaders of tomorrow, follow their path and talk to Affirmed. We’re ready for the future whenever you are.
Find out more information on World Wide Wireless Web – a new model for global connectivity, a mobile-ﬁrst and seamless, wireless access.