Feature Article

January 30, 2012

4GWE Speaker: The Anticipated Migration to 4G

The demand for bigger and better in terms of telecommunications continues to materialize in new mobile devices, applications and the demand for 4G. With 4GWE, a part of ITEXPO East 2012, right around the corner, Rich Tehrani sat down with Mark Gianinni, CEO of Accel Networks to dig into the ins and outs of 4G migration. Asked if a smooth transition is on the horizon, Gianinni highlighted that the migration is about much more than simply increasing data rates and lowering latency.

As for concerns regarding implementation and regulation, Gianinni highlighted that concerns at Accel are the same ones that emerge “anytime the government interjects itself into commerce.” Tehrani also wanted to know if we will see differences between mobile and the rest of the Web. Gianinni highlighted that some customers are comfortable using the public Internet as a WAN, while others still insist on a private WAN. He doesn’t anticipate that will be changing anytime soon.

Asked to share his insight on the differences in generational users and Gianinni noted that the general acceptance of going through life un-tethered is one major difference. A large number of millennials are also more accepting of new ways to communicate. Gianinni was also asked why 4GWE is a must-attend communications event, to which he replied that its focus on the evolution to a 4G infrastructure 4GWE is the perfect venue for introducing Maestro. This latest development is the first smart antenna system for businesses that optimizes wireless performance for both 3G and 4G cellular networks.

Their entire conversation follows:

1.      Where do we stand on the true migration to 4G? Do you see a smooth transition or issues that still must be overcome?

The migration from 3G to 4G is about much more than simply increasing data rates and lowering latency. 4G represents nothing less than an industry paradigm shift and, as a result, the ramifications go beyond the transition from one platform to another. In addition to managing the logistics of layering a new equipment platform across existing platforms, carriers are dealing with challenges in spectrum allocation, data utilization and marketing. While there are challenges crossing multiple disciplines, this magnitude of transition is not unprecedented. The transition from analog to digital and the transition from 2G to 3G were similar in complexity and overall the carriers have done a fairly good job managing the challenges.

2.      Much of our discussion at the event is about Internet and spectrum policy. What are your concerns about implementation and regulation?

Our concerns at Accel regarding Internet and spectrum policy and the impact of regulation are the same concerns we have anytime the government interjects itself into commerce. Left to the natural disciplines of the competitive marketplace, resources -- whether they are network, spectrum, capital or access -- will be distributed to the best and highest use. The concern is that attempts by any government to pick winners and losers will (and historically does) come with unintended consequences that could actually retard the development and growth of wireless and/or the public Internet.

3.      Ultimately, the mobile Internet is going to run totally on IP. Does this mean we are going to see the Internet as being the only network, or will we see differences between mobile and the rest of the Web?

From a fixed wireless perspective and from the perspective of enterprise networks, business cases drive technology and network decisions -- not the other way around. Today, for a variety of reasons, that range from security to application considerations, some Accel customers are comfortable utilizing the public Internet as a WAN while others insist on a private WAN. We don’t see this changing for the foreseeable future.

4.      Often our lessons are generational based on our kids and the millennials now entering the work force. What are you seeing that excites use based on these new users?

One major difference between the current generation entering the workforce and previous generations is the general acceptance of going through life un-tethered. A large number of millennials have never had a POTS line and, as a result, they are much more accepting of new ways to communicate. They have an expectation of seamless communications. This expectation will naturally carry over into all aspects of their lives, including business, which will in turn drive application development and how those applications are marketed and delivered.

5.      Why is 4GWE a must-attend communications event?

Because of its focus on the evolution to a 4G infrastructure 4GWE is the perfect venue for introducing Maestro™, the first smart antenna system for businesses that optimizes wireless performance for both 3G and 4G cellular networks. Maestro addresses the need for better and more cost effective connectivity, tackling issues such as low data rates, latency, jitter and link availability that until now had been viewed as a limitation for enterprise wireless service. These are issues of great interest to 4GWE attendees.

Want to learn more about 4G wireless technologies? Then be sure to attend the 4GWE Conference, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012 taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the 4GWE Conference provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the wireless ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the 4GWE Conference click here.

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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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