I interviewed Todd Rowley of Sprint to talk about their MiFi and Cradlepoint announcement. With the Novatel Wireless MiFi and the Cradlepoint solutions, Sprint is bringing 4G services to the nomadic user.
“These mobile broadband routers provide an unprecedented bridge to high-speed network performance for multiple Wi-Fi devices or multiple users,” said Todd Rowley, vice president, Sprint 4G. “The addition of these mobile hotspot products offers even faster connectivity speeds to Wi-Fi users without the need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot. These two new products can potentially connect the Sprint 3G and 4G networks to the hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the U.S. today.”
Sprint has also been agressively working Femtocell with AirRave and a netbook solution with Compaq. Todd Rowley shares Sprints vision of what we should expect from the 4G world of wireless broadband services.
You have added a great deal of mobility for the nomadic computer what do you see driving 4G services?
Your pricing is agressive? Should we consider a price war is officially in process?
Does prepaid have a roll in the 4G solutions? Should we expect support with Boost and Virgin Mobile?
What kind of devices should expect to be supported in the future?
As the FCC enabled whitespaces for the computing industry the wireless world continued to be advanced with the merger of Sprint WiMAX into Clearwire and the approval of the Alltel acquistion by Verizon. While I will miss the wizard commercials, I think the more important observation is the question of how wireless evolves.
The Verizon story will be mostly around LTE, Clearwire around WiMAX. But who owns White Space? Who do you associate with this alternative? Google and Microsoft have been big advocates, but I am not sure they intend to be a service provider for this space. On the other hand, Cloud Computing is probably going to benefit tremendously from the access the White Space provides. Should I insert Ebay/Skype and Amazon into this discussion? Motorola and Phillips for their devices?
Imho the future of wireless is going to be very dynamic. And as we have seen from the iPhone’s success its going to be more about what you can do than what technology is used.
Moderating conferences for the last decade has been a wonderful experience and I have grown in the process.
Last night we announced a 4G event that is being organized with TMC. The team at TMC has been wonderful and I am looking forward to working with them.
Looking at the infrastructure they have put in as an organization they have a great many abilities that were left undone in my previous experience.
The most fascinating thing to me is there ability to embrace the industry and help deliver the message. The editorial staff is dedicated and they are very good at gathering all the data.
So where do we fit in? Crossfire Consulting is a trusted name in the IT industry that often develops and delivers projects that are either critical to our customers or are adopting new concepts that need to be proven. We worked with telcos on their Internet strategies and did technical due diligence on many acquistions. Crossfire Consulting success has helped in other industries as well.
So we are in a position with TMC to not only deliver the news, but put together the appropriate people in the industry.
In my favorite book, “Fifth Business” the character in opera is explained as neither protagonist nor antagonist, but the keeper of the secrets. While publicly moderating I have been very good, (though it would be hard for you to know) in keeping company council and progressing the story.
Crossfire Media is dedicated to progressing the story of what happens next for telcos and the wireless Internet. That is the story behind the 4GWE conference and it’s the story we will follow on the portal.
As 3GPP progresses there are several issues that make Long Term Evolution uncertain. Remember the Internet was built to overcome any one network’s weakness and we are seeing these same concerns expand the applications providers network. So high speed services are going to be a continuously evolving mixture of applications being implemented in new ways, consumers adopting them virally and access providers (telcos) trying to profitably connect them.
I am waiting for the plane to take me to WiMAX world in Chicago.
As you know I am looking to create a 4G conference and the big question is does WiMAX represent an alternate part of 4G. If you read pay attention to the ITU, the answer is yes. 3GPP and TIA organizations both aimed at making WiMAX part of the 4G discussion.
But when ATT and Verizon decided on LTE for their new spectrum it begged the question why?
The logical answer is that they wanted to service their existing customer base with the new spectrum. Thats part of the answer but the more direct answer is an assumption as to what the device of the future. If you think the device is an iPhone, the control of battery makes Single Carrier strategies inherent in LTE is the deciding factor.
But phones are not the usual device of computing and the need for nomadic computing power and battery is not necessarily the problem.
But if WiMAX does not support the computing applications better than LTE for nomadic computing, then its going to be strictly a backhaul solution.
So in the 4G Wireless Evolution WiMAX will be marginalized.
Is there no escaping the inevitability that the entire network is going Wireless.
IT Expo West, which is a good CTI show has about 40% of the show displaying wireless strategies. Most importantly are a number of companies that are building GSM gateways for the purpose of making the all you can eat plans more valuable to the enterprise or to provide an arbitrage solution.
Another aspect of this was the SMS gateway from Multi-Tech that enables new services with their API for bulk messaging and developers of new applications.
Part of this is the UC discussion, but here the story was not OCS but MS Response Point which included announcements from Quintum and Packet8 as well as the phone set partners of Aastra, Syspine and DLink (not at the show). While Response Point does not include a wireless strategy per se in combination with Packet8 it becomes integrated with their MobileTalk.
I also had a lot of iPhone app discussions that I am sure will be better represented today in San Fransisco at Mobilize with Shai Berger of Fonolo presenting, although the GotVoice demo was very good.
Here at the show my best wiresless conversation was with Gaston of TelcoBridges as we took the worldwide view of where 4G will take us.
One thing that was missing was VoWifi.
Very good day yesterday and looking forward to my panel today.