Feature Article

January 07, 2010

Mobile Devices Are Key to a Bright Future: 4GWE Conference Speaker

As the demand for mobile Internet and IP-enabled devices increases, more and more companies are aggressively pursuing the mobile market segment.
And Cisco Systems, the world’s largest provider of networking architecture and solutions for businesses, is no exception. The company made headlines last month when it formally acquired Starent Networks, a provider of Internet Protocol-based mobile communication solutions.
As consumers’ desire for instantaneous network access and applications increase, service providers face a more challenging task to meet those needs, Ken Gawelek, worldwide service provider business development and technology strategy, Cisco Systems, said.
“The desire to have constant access has changed the game for service providers because basic data applications no longer exist – they have morphed into voice, video and text,” Gawelek told Carl Ford, a partner at Crossfire Media, in an interview, printed in full below.
During the back and forth, Gawelek - who will be speaking at a session during the 4GWE Conference, to be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami in a session titled “Stimulating Broadband Growth in the year of the $4.7B Stimulus” – predicted a healthy market for mobile Internet devices and M2M modules, saying the devices would grow in popularity over the next few years.
The full exchange follows.
Carl Ford: Applications are all the rage in the marketplace, and they’re helping sell consumers on today's network. How should we expect applications to evolve as network broadband expands?
Ken Gawelek: The desire to have constant access has changed the game for service providers because basic data applications no longer exist – they have morphed into voice, video and text. These are no longer applications in the traditional sense, but services that are requiring bigger bandwidth.

CF: 4GWE is all about how customers’ adoption of technology is changing the network. What critical issues do you foresee for network operators?
KG: I see higher speed access as the obvious response to these new services – but the big item that gets missed is backhaul. Backhaul is becoming the single biggest limitation to new service introduction.

CF: Barnes & Noble has now joined the e-reader business and Garmin has added new networking solutions. What devices do you expect to join the 4G world?

KG: Don’t forget Blu-ray… my new favorite Internet device for on-demand movies. The next devices that I see joining 4G are home appliances (ie: a television that has broadband access without an additional interface) and security systems that could tie into location-based systems.
CF: Social networking is a large part of consumers’ use of their smartphones. How should we expect it to impact our work lives?
KG: Social networking is being used by many Fortune 500 companies to locate expertise and putting people in touch with one another, such as mentors, that would otherwise not be found.
CF: WiFi led the way into MIMO and OFDM, and WiMAX and LTE are now alternate methods of adoption of these technologies. How should we classify the technologies? Are they competitive, complimentary or serving separate requirements?

KG: I work in both, and I see these as complementary technologies that serve separate requirements especially when you compare the type of spectrum that they use: WiMAX uses TDD spectrum and LTE uses FDD. In the end, both of these technologies are designed to bring bigger bandwidth to mobile devices in support of the services that I previously mentioned. For now, the spectrum position of the service provider determines what technology they can deploy at this time, but over time the types of services they want to offer will be the determining factor.
CF: If you were president of the United States, what tech-friendly policies would you enact?
KG: Find and auction more radio spectrum – and if it doesn’t get used, take it back and re-auction it until it is used. I would also look at policy toward smart homes and helping the current smart-grid initiatives. People could save billions of kilowatts if they knew when and how to turn down their usage.
CF: What are some of the areas of 4G you’re expecting to grow in the next few years?
KG: Mobile Internet devices and M2M modules (ie: mobile Internet retro-fit devices that can enable otherwise ‘dumb’ devices and get them on the Internet)
CF: Please give me one outrageous prediction pertaining to our markets for 2010.
KG: Smartphones will become over 70 percent of all new phone sales.
CF: Talk to me specifically about your presentation at the 4G Wireless Evolution conference. What kinds of people or companies should come to your session?
KG: I’m in a panel discussion on M2M, so I think anyone that is interested in machine-to-machine communications and the potential for that market with respect to how we improve the national electrical grid should come to listen.
To find out more about Ken Gawelek and Cisco, visit the company at the 4GWE Conference.To be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami and collocated with ITEXPO East 2010, the 4GWE Conference will focus on the realities of deploying 4G technologies and delivering broadband wireless applications to a growing community of wireless broadband consumers. Gawelek will speak on a panel called “Stimulating Broadband Growth in the year of the $4.7B Stimulus.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for MobilityTechzone, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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