Democratic Computing

In a world where the Edge of the network has plenty of compute cycles what is the purpose of the powerful CPU in your phone?

As 5G towers are coming up and the mobile network Edge is being fitted with servers, some of these servers with powerful GPUs and plenty of CPU cores, some even with SmartNICs, we can start thinking about shifting some of that heavy CPUs that are sitting in our pockets to other areas. Our smartphones suck battery charges, heat up (Galaxy 7 anyone?), are excessively complicated to maintain, and are inflexible. But what do we actually need while we are mobile?

Do we need a GPS? Probably not, the cell tower know where we are.

Do we need an Apple A14z chip? Probably not since we can shift all that heavy CPU work to the Edge.

Do we need storage? Why? Put your files in the cloud and ensure access at all times.

Do we need a good screen? Yes. And with it we need a display unit that is able to communicate with the network and render to our screen, but the heavy lifting could be done on the Edge.

In the near future we will be able to do away with the CPUs in our mobile phone, we can strip the phone down to its bare necessities: a Digital/Audio Codec (assuming we still use voice and hear music), display, networking stack and modem.

Once we embrace the Edge and 5G, we can democratize the mobile devices. We can bring down their price and make them available to any network that supports 5G and have an Edge story. This will mean that some companies, the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung, might have to go back to the days when they partnered with the network operator (remember the iPhone launch? AT&T only). That also mean that we could see a plethora of cheap devices with amazing capabilities. They will live on a 5G connection and will also be cheap enough to throw away once the battery runs out.

Democratic computing will finally connect the entire planet. Then, the computer will be the network and the network the computer.

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    […] The key to the initiative is the target consumer of the Operator Platform. The initiative is aimed at the folks developing applications (or services) that depend on capabilities that can only be met by the advances provided by 5G and the abundance of computing power at the edges. You can call it democratic computing. […]

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