Considering that there are nearly two billion mobile phones out there, it would make sense to convert a significant proportion of them to web servers. Many mobile phones now combine more processing power and memory than many web servers running out there. So how to get that platform running?
This is exactly what the Nokia Research Centre has been working on for the past few months. Their Mobile Web Server (MWS) started nearly two years ago when Johan Wikman wanted to get a fully-fledged web server running on Nokia's S60.
With an expected 40 million 3G devices to be sold by Nokia in 2006 alone, the stakes are very high. Nokia built the MWS using Apache HTTPD, the world's most popular web server.
If Nokia decides to integrate MWS as a standard piece of software in all its mobile phones in the near future, the number of web servers actually serving the internet community could double very easily. If Nokia decides to release MWS as open source and other manufacturers choose to jump onboard, that figure could multiplied even further.
Before that though, 3G networks will need to be sorted out and used to their full capacity. Getting your own personal web server will mean having an always on connection, and that would change the face of Internet and mobile telephony as we know them.
As for the implications, I'll quote what Nokia's website mentions. "We believe that being able to run a globally accessible personal website on your mobile phone has the potential of changing the Internet landscape.
If every mobile phone or even every Smartphone initially, is equipped with a web server then very quickly most websites will reside on mobile phones. That is bound to have some impact not only on how mobile phones are perceived but also on how the web evolves."