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Cloud computing is about to get personal

Patrick Lo, chairman and chief executive officer, NETGEAR | June 7, 2013
While businesses have been deploying cloud technology for some time, it's only recently that personal cloud services have emerged.

802.11ac was launched to much fanfare in mid-2012 promising ridiculously fast wireless connections, better range, improved reliability and improved power consumption. In-Stat has predicted there will be an estimated 1 billion devices supporting 802.11ac worldwide by by 2015. The 802.11ac standard will enable the seamless delivery of personal cloud services via a Wi-Fi connection. Where there isn't Wi-Fi, 4G LTE will be essential to that same seamless delivery. By 2016, 4G LTE subscribers are expected to reach nearly 1.2 billion, based on data from IHS iSuppli. The more widespread devices and access points with ultra-fast broadband become in the year ahead, the closer we move to making the personal cloud a practical reality.

It should come as no surprise that the mobile phone is likely to become the principle device for the personal cloud revolution. The mobile phone is always with us, it doesn't need to be booted up and today's smartphones can essentially do what PCs did five years ago. It is already the device of choice for accessing the Internet in many countries, especially developing regions. Data from Pew Internet recently revealed that 31% of mobile Internet users surf the Web the majority of the time using their mobile phone. In China especially, mobile handsets have become the No. 1 method people use to access the Web, according to IDC. The emergence of the personal cloud will drive a simplification of these devices and make a smart mobile Internet experience accessible to everyone.

For the personal cloud to succeed, businesses need to keep developing innovative services that enhance our lives; manufacturers need to focus on a range of products from high-end smartphones to low-cost devices allowing all audiences to capitalize on these services; and most importantly, we need to make sure the quality of connectivity is widespread enough to truly enable the personal cloud to succeed.

The advent of cloud technology in the year ahead has the potential to change the device and connectivity forever. The cloud is about to truly get personal.


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