The "cloud" means different things to different players in the value chain. On a macro level, for Tier 1 carriers in Asia, it means new revenue opportunities as they add cloud-based services to their overall portfolios - provided they can overcome the inevitable challenges that await them, from regulatory issues over cross-border data storage to convincing C-level customers to understand (and trust) the value that cloud-based services.
Asked how big a deal is cloud to the carrier sector, Richard Duggan, head of South Asia for Telstra International, replied that it "depends on your definition of 'cloud'," but that "if you focus on IaaS, PaaS and SaaS type services, we're incredibly excited about cloud. We see a tremendous opportunity both domestically and globally."
Diarmid Massey, managing director of wholesale and carrier for Cable & Wireless Worldwide, said that cloud was "an important future step for the business", but more for its domestic business than its international business because "our core customer segments for international are really carriers and large MNCs, neither of which are necessarily first movers on cloud services today. The early adopters are more the SMEs, and maybe schools and local governments."
Ted Teoh, deputy general manager for Singapore at Hutchison Global Communications, said carriers will play an important role in the cloud trend as a lot of players ride over the network, but added the caveat that in Asia, cloud will take off first in markets where broadband access is more mature. "For places without good network infrastructure where broadband penetration is still low, cloud is still picking up very slowly."