Feature Article

September 06, 2011

4G Wireless Evolution Interview: The Drive for 4G Wireless

The evolution of the telecommunications space has been rapid, with vendors and service providers racing to keep up with changing trends. In anticipation of the upcoming ITEXPO West event, MobilityTechzone’s CEO, Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) recently spoke with Greg Friesen, VP of Product Management at DragonWave Inc. to get his insight on the changing market. Their full conversation is provided below.

When asked how the market has evolved over the past year, Friesen noted that bandwidth demand continues unabated by mobile data adoption, yet the continued weakness in the financial markets has delayed some planned network expansions. As for the next disruptive force in technology, Friesen pointed to the widespread adoption of 4G handsets that will overwhelm the capacity of the macros base stations. The adoption of the cloud has had minimal impact on DragonWave’s (News - Alert) development cycle.

The most common request Friesen is hearing from customers is the demand for more capacity. As for the device mix of the future, Friesen noted that data and video traffic will outstrip voice traffic, continuing to grow over time. When asked about meeting the need for increased mobility, Friesen noted this demand is furthering the drive for high capacity demands. At the ITEXPO (News - Alert) West event, Friesen is interested in seeing industry opinion on network evolution and emerging trends. He plans to discuss the use of wireless backhaul for 4G wireless devices.

Their entire conversation follows:

1.      How has your market evolved over the past year and what trends have fueled those changes?

Bandwidth demand continues unabated driven by mobile data adoption. For the new networks being deployed, the easy fiber sites have been or are being built out and the customers are increasingly considering microwave to the remaining cell sites. The continued weakness in the financial markets has delayed some planned network expansions.

2.      What do you see as the next disruptive force in technology and how will it impact your market or business?

The widespread adoption of 4G handsets will overwhelm the capacity of the macro base stations forcing the operators to more aggressively adopt data offload strategies and microcell options.

3.      How has the acceptance and adoption of the cloud model influenced your development cycle and process?

Minimal impact on our development cycle, but any trend which drives up the data usage – such as cloud computing – affects our market.

4.      What is the most common request you are seeing from your customers? How is your company addressing these demands?

Capacity/Capacity/Capacity. We are addressing this through the introduction of features such as bandwidth acceleration, dual carrier radios to deliver multi gigabit capacity and through the development of technology to enable microcell architectures to increase the overall network capacity.

5.      Besides phone calls, mobile is now sharing bandwidth with video and machines. What do you predict will be the mix of traffic in the future?

Data and especially video traffic will far outstrip voice traffic and will continue to grow over time as a percentage of the overall traffic mix.

This will further drive the need for high capacity, seamless communications, resulting in increased bandwidth on the backhaul network.

7.      What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO West in Austin? What do you see as being the biggest trends at the show?

Interested in seeing industry opinion on network evolution and emerging trends.

8.      What issues will you be addressing during your ITEXPO session and why should attendees be sure to attend?

This session will discuss the use of wireless backhaul for 4G wireless services. Topics of discussion will include capacity planning, available spectrum, available technologies, and target architectures.

The 4G Wireless Evolution Conference will be collocated with ITEXPO West, the world’s premier IP communications event, to be held Sept. 13-15  at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. Now in its third year, 4GWE has become the industry's premier gathering place for Mobile Network Operators, fixed carriers, handset manufacturers, mobile internet device manufacturers, application providers, the enterprise, and venture capitalists.  Don’t wait. Register now

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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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