Sprint is one of the last few major carriers that still offers consumers unlimited voice and data plans, which company execs tout not only as a differentiator but one of the better ways to addressing the needs and experiences of customers.

Unlimited plans are about simplicity and value, said Stephen Bye, Sprint’s chief technology officer, while speaking at GigaOM’s Mobilize 2011 summit in San Francisco on Monday afternoon, adding that it’s not easy to talk about tiered plans and costs to customers.

Bye also offered the caveat that if a mobile provider does not have unlimited plans, they’ll have to deal with a larger support structure as they’re most definitely going to receive more calls, comments and complaints from customers.

However, Bye admitted that Sprint is “open to different business models” in other ways with different pricing models and devices divided up by demographics and brands (i.e. Virgin Mobile and Boost), but also other products such as the Google experience on the Nexus S 4G and Cricket’s Muse music service.

But with unlimited data plans and just the growth of data activity on mobile devices in general, that begs concern for the evolution of these networks.

“Network modernization enables us to look at a future where data dominates how we build networks,” Bye said, explaining that in the past, it was driven by voice plans. When you look at the world of data by user, location, or the time of day, Bye continued, the way you build that network is very different and challenging.

If you look at what Sprint is building today, including the rebuilding of its 3G network, it’s a data-focused design.

“It brings us back up to a new generation of technology on the network,” Bye asserted, adding that it allows Sprint to position itself as a partner for spectrum hosting and networking sharing. He acknowledged that this is unusual in the United States but common in other countries.

Here enters cloud computing and the opportunity it presents for mobile technlogies. Bye posited that there are a handful of forces at work right now that enable a relationship between the cloud and mobile. It starts with the devices and how they’re becoming incredibly more capable when it comes to processing power, storage capabilities and more.

The power of 4G and low-latency is also a contributor as the challenge, historically-speaking, has primarily been the network. Then there’s security, which is a major challenge that the cloud can partially address when other factors are considered.

But rather than serving as a host, Sprint sees its part in this cloud-based world as an “enabler.” Bye said that if a business has needs for cloud services, Sprint will enable it. The mobile provider is not in the business of selling software, he added, but explained that Sprint can provide care and support to customers and utilize its partnerships with device vendors.

Of course, at one point the discussion turned towards the proposed ATT and T-Mobile merger.

“I can’t speculate too much, but for us, we look at our cost structure and how do we compete against people that have a greater scale than we have,” Bye said. He added that it’s arguable whether or not consolidation is needed to get that scale (which is what ATT is arguing for), but don’t take that as a sign of understanding or favor for the merger.

Bye affirmed that Sprint has “a lot of respect for T-Mobile,” and that when you listen to ATT’s arguments, “they just don’t gel.”

{ 0 comments }

VMworld 2011 Won’t Lack for News

by admin on August 30, 2011

As has been the case for the last half-dozen years, VMworld — the 2011 version of which opens Aug. 29 and continues through Sept. 1 at the Venetian and Wynn hotel convention centers in Las Vegas — is going to be about as newsy as any IT show in the world this year.

Tickets for attendees are going for as much as $2,200 for the four-day conference and expo.

Tier 1 IT providers such as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, EMC, NetApp, Symantec, Accenture, Brocade and VMware itself will be providing most of the headlines.

Dell has decided to announce some new cloud-related news at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce event in San Francisco. IBM and Oracle (with a competing hypervisor, this is no surprise) are quiet on the VMware front.

Lesser-known companies like NEC, NTT America, Datalink, Wyse, Tintri, Nexenta, Savvis, Cleversafe, Eucalyptus and others are among those will release new products or have some other tale to tell.

Overall, the conference focuses on the latest virtualization IT along with strategies to help organizations add private or hybrid cloud computing to their current systems. The central news that affects most everything else is that VMware’s vSphere v5.0, which was announced back on July 12, will be made generally available Aug. 29.

Underlying News: vSphere v5.0 Goes GA

vSphere 5′s newest spin is that it now has the ability to allow virtual machines to use a whopping 1TB of memory running 32-way symmetric multiprocessing. Conference planners have scheduled about 150 sessions devoted to how to manage all that power, deploy and secure the new version of the system, and use it effectively with existing IT hardware and software.

With v5.0, vSphere’s high-availability architecture has also been upgraded for better scale-out ability. Storage distributed resource scheduling (DRS), profile-driven storage and automated host deployment are also new features in the software.

The theme this year is “Own It. Your Cloud.” Keynote headliners will be two of the usual VMware suspects, meaning CEO Paul Maritz (Monday, Aug. 29 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time and 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30) and CTO Steve Herrod Thursday, Sept. 1 at 9 a.m.).

Topic tracks include: Cloud Application Platform, Business Continuity, Cloud Infrastructure: Management and Operations, Security and Compliance, Virtualizing Business Critical Applications, vSphere, End-User Computing, Partner (for VMware partners only; held at the Wynn), and Technology Exchange for Alliance Partners.

Here’s a grid schedule for all the events, both social- and business-related. Good luck on deciding an agenda. And here is a link to the overall content catalog.

Oh, yes. The Killers are performing Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. at a big party for all attendees.

{ 0 comments }

VMware lets Rabbit loose on open source code cloud

August 11, 2011

VMware has plugged the open source RabbitMQ messaging system into Cloud Foundry, the “platform-as-a-service” it introduced in beta form earlier this year. RabbitMQ provides a means of facilitating communication within and between applications and services. “RabbitMQ is now a first class citizen of Cloud Foundry,” VMware spokesman Al Sargent tells The Reg. “It can be [...]

Read the full article →

Yes, Virginia, people do keep their information in the cloud

August 11, 2011

Call it a personal cloud or a digital locker. People like keeping stuff online. Four out of five people are aware of the terms “personal cloud” or “digital locker,” and only one in 10 didn’t have any idea what those services might be for, according to a survey from Funambol. However, those who are aware [...]

Read the full article →

Cloud Startups Get Big Funding Infusions

August 11, 2011

  Cloud startups are having a great week, despite the turmoil on Wall Street, as a host of cloud upstarts kicked off with big dollar funding injections. The largest of the loot-lucky lot is Okta, an on-demand and identity access management service, which raked in $16.5 million in Series B funding this week, funds the [...]

Read the full article →

Okta unlocks access to the corporate cloud

August 9, 2011

Okta, a startup that makes identity and access management software for enterprises, has closed $16.5 million in new funding, which it may need since VMware earlier this year announced it, too, would get in on this space. San Francisco-based Okta says it will put the money toward “an aggressive growth strategy” in the months ahead. [...]

Read the full article →

5 cool tools for cloud management

August 9, 2011

Network World – Cloud management tools are as varied as cloud uses. For this test, we chose five tools that each attack cloud management from a different perspective. We looked at Symplifed for identity management exclusively targeted to SaaS-based apps, Puppet Labs for virtual machine deployment, HP for building and managing private clouds, Abiquo for [...]

Read the full article →

Cloud Comparisons Part II: Other Cloud Services

August 9, 2011

August 07, 2011 | by Aulia Masna Cloud Comparisons Part II: Other Cloud Services (Screen shot of Dropbox.com) Apple may have entered the cloud computing era as a veteran, but others who came in late have proven themselves to be more adept at figuring it out. It took Apple a decade before it was able to [...]

Read the full article →

Dashwire to help HTC fill cloud portfolio gap: analyst

August 9, 2011

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. was responding to pressure to expand its product portfolio in the mobile market when it decided to acquire mobile-web application company Dashwire Inc., a Taipei-based analyst said recently. “It’s the right direction,” Joey Yen, a senior analyst at International Data Corp. (IDC), told CNA. “HTC has [...]

Read the full article →

Want to Capitalize on the Cloud? 3 Actions to Take Today

August 9, 2011

A few months ago, I shared ideas with you on how to find the right partner to help you establish sales in cloud services. Now, I’d like to expand on the cloud opportunity by relating three specific actions you can take now to help your organization profit from the cloud computing revolution. They include… Action [...]

Read the full article →