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Article

The World is Up to Speed with Mobile Cloud

Developing Nations Just Waiting for Political and Business Leadership

Someone asked me the other day if Asia was developing the Mobile Cloud as quickly as North America. He wanted to know if there are similar legions of people carrying around iPhones, iPads, and new Droidphones.

My answer to him was, in a word, "Yes."

All this stuff costs about the same wherever you go, so often represents a far higher share of someone's income in the Philippines, where I'm based, than it does in the US. But people are buying. My local Apple store is as crowded as the local Starbucks, and people are buying 3G plans to make them as simultaneously mobile and tethered to the Internet as anyone.

The percentage of the population keeping up with the global Jones's in a developing nation such as the Philippines isn't as high as in the US or Western Europe, but it represents a significant market.

There are 600 million people in Southeast Asia. Filipinos are the world's leading texters and Facebook users, followed closely by Malaysians and Indonesians. There are probably 60 million people who can, one way or another, afford to be up to date in this region.

The days when the US would lead the world in technology development disappeared sometime in the 90s, when Scandinavian and Baltic countries soared past America in their usage of cell phones and high-speed Internet connections. South Korea and Japan followed suit.

Now, I think it's fair to say that there are at least 50 countries throughout the world, maybe as many as 80, who are in lockstep with technological progress.

The key to leveraging the power of all this mobile technology will be in-country datacenters. Most IT departments are reluctant and often forbidden from sending any of their data out of the country. So, the wonders of AWS, for example, remain out of the reach of the Philippines and many other countries that could benefit hugely from full-on Cloud Computing.

But to be sure, the will of the individual people is there. They have the devices. They are only looking for their government and business leaders to get up to speed.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.