M2M and Cloud on the rise in Asia

Cloud computing looks set to top Asia’s agenda for the next ten years, if the opinions of key executives from China Unicom and Korea Telecom are anything to go by.

Major players from within the corporations confirmed their belief that M2M communications and cloud computing would drive growth across the industry over the next decade, while also asserting that mobile technology would not be superseded, but must evolve in order to cope with increasing data traffic.

China Unicom’s Zhang Zhijiang explained that the firm’s focus is shifting to encompass five key areas – rethinking traditional services, overhauling the value chain, creating new mobile internet services, maximising potential subscribers, and making the firm more environmentally friendly.

To further its progress towards these aims, China Unicom is focussing on the development of its IP, as well as updating its radio networks. Zhijiang noted: “we plan to upgrade our current network to HSPA+ or dual-carrier subject to market demands,” with the ultimate goal of deploying an LTE network.

The operator is increasing its network capacity “step by step”. Currently, its network provides 325 cities with 20.4Mb/s mobile connectivity.

Unicom also confirmed that it will launch devices powered by its Uphone OS by the end of 2010. The platform is in direct competition with China Mobile’s Ophone platform, which is essentially a version of Android optimised for the operator’s offering.

The operating system is reported to be Linux-based, although details have not yet been confirmed. The platform will likely target mid-range handsets rather than upper-tier devices.

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