A lot of chatter out of CTIA this week focused on connecting devices to everything, but one pilot would turn telecom companies into cloud computing providers.
The big question: Would enterprises go for it?
According to Charles Cooper, telecom providers on four continents---United States, Europe, Australia, and China---are running pilots with dumb terminals connected to the cloud. Roughly speaking telecom providers would build a system where you're login information would be recognized on the network and power the virtual desktop.
Sound familiar? It is. It's thin client 2.0. It's an enterprise role for netbooks. And it's not totally a bad idea.
What this pilot shows is that long-pitched concept that the network is the computer. Telecom providers are increasingly offering services---content delivery networks and security to name a few---so it's not a stretch to see them offering the computing horsepower too. Telecommunications providers are in a clear position to be cloud providers too, but the details and execution will be crucial.
The other nagging concern: Even with the popularity of netbooks users still like to have full-featured, not-so-dumb laptops.