TR: Speaking of putting intelligence in the network, Internet security is worse than ever.
PW: Security has moved from spam, and a few smart people breaking into networks for fun, to becoming far more organized. Now you have bots that you didn’t know existed. The whole issue of network security is so much more than having a firewall to protect your device. As we move toward cloud computing, we believe the network has a strong role to play.
TR: What is the future of networks in India and other parts of the developing world?
PW: Video and collaboration are important in emerging, as well as developed, countries. And more than half of the world is connected via a mobile device. My own view is that very soon the term “mobile Internet” will be redundant. The Internet will be pervasive, mobility will be built into it, and people will expect Internet access no matter where they are and across any device that they possess. As we introduce more personalized applications and high-definition video, we need think about the network playing an integral role via prioritization, bandwidth, and more intelligence.
TR: IT systems already produce two percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Won’t more IT inevitably mean more emissions?
PW: Information technology will drive us to become more sustainable, not less sustainable. Computing will be much more energy-efficient. Telepresence will reduce travel and carbon footprints. Applying IT networks will enable the creation of smart buildings and smart transportation systems. And if you look at the network and how many billions of people and how many more billions of devices will connect, we think there is a huge opportunity of the network to play a role in terms of monitoring, managing, and reducing energy consumption.
TR: But can you get rid of skips in voice calls and jitters in streaming video?
PW: Quality of service continues to be important. One of the things we believe, that we’ve put a lot of effort into…
PW: (a minute later) Hi, sorry, I didn’t plug in my cell phone last night!