Sprint to the telcos looking to get into the cloud services market. According to Roger Cheng, Sprint will be offering "hosted collaboration services" to small and medium-sized businesses using its data center to provide capacity.Add
Sprint is not the first telco to crash the cloud services party. Verizon picked up Terremark for a reported $1.4 billion in January, and AT&T announced its Content Delivery Network (CDN) in June.
Like AT&T (and Amazon...), Sprint plans to use its own data center to provide services. According to Cheng, the company is looking to use cloud services to help it grow. The company is facing pretty stiff competition from Verizon and AT&T, and is hoping to find additional revenue by letting companies use its services as an on-demand public cloud and will eventually offer mixed cloud. The company has also been experimenting with giving companies "ID Packs" as an additional service, but Cheng reports that Sprint isn't seeing as much uptake for that as it had hoped.
There's still a lot of questions for Sprint to answer. Is Sprint going to join OpenStack, or will the company have its own cloud software stack to compete with Amazon Web Services and others? Unfortunately, they're not saying much right now. Sprint declined to make a spokesperson available for comment, but said that there'd be more "in the months to come."
With any luck, Sprint and other companies entering what's likely to be a very crowded market will choose to go the OpenStack route or offer a standard service like OpenShift for companies to be able to move between services if necessary. Some of the companies entering this market are going to find that providing cloud services are not within their core competency, and ultimately the users will need to pick up and move their computing elsewhere.
What do you think? Are small and medium-sized companies going to be interested in what Sprint is offering? Is Sprint the kind of company that should be jumping into the cloud services market?