Mobile enterprise computing is not always about mobile devices and mobile apps. The truth is that devices and apps are only the final end points to a much larger overall wireless infrastructure that all enterprises must have in place in order to be effectively mobile. The key reason that smartphones finally took off in the United States can be traced directly to the telecommunications vendors finally delivering a true 3G wireless infrastructure that allows users to make use of mobile apps that access large amounts of data without significant lag times.
Mobile Web surfing utilizing a rich Web browser - think of Apple's essentially unrestrained Safari browser - has also proven to be a game changer. Both the iPhone and iPad are responsible for generating vast amounts of mobile/wireless data traffic. The 3G networks that emerged just as the iPhone was taking off (ironically on AT&T, which at the time was still a 2.5G shop but moving quickly to 3G) were the right match for end users to become super-enthusiasts. For the enterprise this eventually developed into the BYOD movement.
We have now arrived at a new crossroad: 3G can no longer provide the necessary bandwidth to meet the enormous demands of today's sophisticated mobile computing devices. Enter LTE (Long Term Evolution) into the picture, which provides just enough additional bandwidth, speed and low latency to get us through the next several years of mobile data growth. LTE is critical to maintaining mobile momentum. Our cover story this month fills in the details of the LTE promise, LTE's directions, and the issues surrounding why LTE isn't truly a "long term evolution" or really 4G, but a short term fix. And we'll look at what follows - LTE-Advanced and true 4G bandwidth.
Coupled with LTE's emergence is the emergence of the Mobile Cloud - a confusing buzzword for many enterprises. Our supplement on the Mobile Cloud this month demystifies what it is and why its important to embrace it.