Broadband companies are, quite interestingly, deviating from their normal nature. They are now trying to make their networks open where they were once closed. This will allow them to provide more to its customers. However, broadband companies needs to ensure they do not open a can of worms as they open up their networks.
AT&T can be taken as a prime example. In recent news, it seems that AT&T Labs is shifting to an open nature. Ma Bell recently disclosed a number of developments that had been made in AT&T Labs. Interestingly, these developments incorporated aspects of network data that AT&T normally grants to its developers.
Cell phones have become more powerful than ever. They have an amazing amount of processing power and are capable of doing a lot more than was previously thought imaginable. The true aim of today’s mobile market is to integrate everything that users love about their normal desktop computers and incorporate it into a mobile solution.
Providing exceptional network capabilities to such advices significantly improves applications that they can be used for. One example of this is monitoring services. Parents are becoming increasingly worried about their children. They worry about where they are and what they are doing. Although most of these advancements are simple concepts, the ideas are highly influential.
One advancement has been made by AT&T that allows parents to monitor their children without disturbing their privacy. One of the projects disclosed from AT&T Labs grants parents the ability to keep a watchful eye on their children while they are driving. If anything goes wrong or seems out of place, such as overspeeding or unlatched seatbelts, the network will alert the parent(s) via sms.
When the chief security officer and senior VP of AT&T, Edward Amoroso, was questioned, he stated that it is more important to look at what kind of technology people will be easy with rather than what is possible.
AT&T however is just one example of the many other carriers that have started to ‘open up’ their networks and even core features such as payment and messaging. These are the most valuable resources available to any network and should not be trifled with. The biggest reason why most networks have so far remained closed is that the right balance of security and quality has not been reached.
The biggest problem with broadband companies opening up their networks is all the problems that could come with it. An open network is, in itself, a less secure variant of a closed network. This significantly increases the risk of acquiring a network infection, worm or problem. In fact, due to the differences in technology, the network itself could lag or crash.
When broadband companies start opening up their networks, they have to ensure that they do not compromise the security of their networks. According to Amoroso, security is the biggest concern that AT&T has at this moment. If a high level of security is not provided to our customers, they will not use our services due to the inherent security risks involved.
Another problem with open networks is discovering ways to make money from it. Open networks quite literally ‘open up’ a range of possibilities. According to Krish Prabhu, the chief technology officer (CTO) of AT&T, there is a list of endless possibilities with an open network. However, identifying which ones of these possibilities are real money makers is the problem.
In a further statement, Krish Prabhu stated that broadband companies have real potential as far as open networks go. They could easily enhance the revenue of any company provided they have a clear understanding of the risks involved. They need to ensure that the quality of the services provided does not come at a reduction in security. If this is the case, no revenue will ever be made off open networks.
It seems that with all the advancements that have been made, security remains a very pressing issue. If broadband companies switch over to open networks, they need to ensure that the security of their systems or their networks is not compromised.