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What to expect in cloud-based communications in 2020

Matt Hamblen | Feb. 15, 2011
Storing all your personal data in the cloud could get a little 'creepy,' says AT&T's CTO

Donovan, who started his career as an electrical engineer, said his job of three years as CTO at AT&T has really been two jobs -- one of operating networks and the other of setting a vision for the future. On Wednesday, he will address some of the ideas he mentioned in the interview in an MWC panel discussion entitled "Mobile Innovation: A Vision of 2020."

One analyst attending MWC, Kevin Burden of ABI Research, said Donovan's ideas aren't that far-fetched, although he said the idea of keeping personal information in the cloud will be controversial to most people.

On one hand, Burden said mobile users have already reached the point where they expect the Internet to be available almost anywhere they travel. Donovan's ideas "aren't that big of a leap, but do we want that?" Burden asked.

He also said it makes sense to find ways for users not to have to carry all kinds of devices with them. People have moved beyond the point where a mobile phone is a kind of fashion accessory or status symbol, so they might not mind using devices that they don't own personally.

However, Burden also said that the October 2009 loss of Sidekick personal data stored in cloud-based servers run by the Danger subsidiary of Microsoft should serve as a warning to all.

"A lot of people might not want that model," Burden said. "It's a very personal thing putting my information in the cloud. People could be at risk and not want it."


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