Cloudstreet founder and CTO, Mika Skarp is an awarded telecom network technologist, entrepreneur and executive. After over a decade and a half developing groundbreaking technology-enabled business models for Nokia Siemens in Finland, Mika consolidated his learnings, experience and patents to launch Cloudstreet and the world’s first application-aware network.

Recognizing the glaring disconnect between and an increasingly data-hungry world and an outdated “best effort” business model for telecom service that jeopardized the case for future infrastructure investment, Skarp saw an opportunity. Moving toward a 5th generation (5G) network overlay and an army of new product, service and content delivery innovations waiting to come to life, telecom operators would have no choice but to find a way to begin differentiating service levels to better manage finite bandwidth and a spectrum of different needs.

With the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), driverless cars, wearable tech and an insatiable demand for HD video streaming on demand, Skarp saw that the idea of an application-aware network was not a matter of if, but when. The only challenge was to find the right combination of network technologies and business layer solutions to come together to prove it was possible.

Enter Cloudstreet

While many years in prototype, the spring of 2015 saw the first real world demonstration of Cloudstreet and the power of an application-aware network. For a nationally televised major league soccer match for some 3,000 fans in rural Finland, Skarp quietly flicked the switch on a Cloudstreet box that let an array of HD news cameras and audio feeds stream live into the studio and on the air over the plain old internet.

It wasn’t that Internet hadn’t carried HD video before. But never before had the public Internet been enabled to detect the requirements of a specific device and application and deliver bandwidth accordingly. This eureka moment was made possible through Cloudstreet’s deployment and commercialization partnership with leading European carrier Telia Sonera.

Skarp is active in the telecom industry as a writer, commentator, facilitator and mentor focused on the future of innovation in support of net neutrality and a common, free and open internet. The founder and first president of the WiMAX Forum an industry-led, not-for-profit organization that certifies and promotes the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based upon IEEE Standard 802.16, Skarp has built a strong international network of players focused on leveraging technology to connect the world and the people in it, wherever they are. In 2003 Skarp was mandated to lead product management for Nokia’s Village Connection an innovative GSM solution based on converged architecture, merging the potential of an IP network to create a virtualized GSM network and at substantially reduced cost making it more accessible to users, particularly in developing regions. To the program’s credit, the Village Connection was runner up for the Global Mobile awards in Barcelona 2007, considered by the industry to be the equivalent of the Oscars of the Mobile industry.

While Cloudstreet demands most of his professional time and attention, when he is not innovating and productizing telecom technologies, Skarp enjoys travelling and exploring the great outdoors with his wife, son and two daughters from their home in Helsinki, Finland.  

Learn more about Mika's take on the industry and where it's going on the Cloudstreet blog, where he is a regular contributor.