Mobile broadband gateway developer Stoke named Dave Williams, Comcast's former senior vice president of wireless technology, as chief technology officer of the company.
Williams is the second high-profile wireless executive to leave a cable operator. Stephen Bye, who was leading Cox Communications' push into wireless, left the company to join Cox's roaming partner, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), in March. The moves come as cable operators are showing lackluster results on their wireless plays, and as many MSOs begin to focus on Wi-Fi as a wireless strategy.
While Williams declined to comment about the cable industry and his role there, he did comment that the cable industry is becoming quite interested in the Wi-Fi market.
Stoke is a departure for Williams since he's spent the greater part of his career in the service provider space. Prior to Comcast, he was CTO of 02 Telefonica Europe and head of Cingular Wireless, which was subsequently folded into AT&T (NYSE:T).
Stoke offers the Stoke Session Exchange platform (SSX), a multi-access convergence gateway that performs multimedia IP session management and mobility across multiple technologies such as fixed, cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Many of the features of the SSX platform as already compliant with the System Architecture Evolution's Evolved Packet Core (SAE EPC), and and the key is the marriage of this multi-access gateway with the packet data gateway (ePDG) and security gateway elements.
"I spent time in the past working our Comcast's wireless strategy and also figured out how to do very effective fixed broadband--how policy and security are managed. That is important to wireless operators as small amounts of data have now turned into huge amounts of data on their networks," Williams said. "With the rollout of LTE and Wi-Fi offload, there are similar challenges to what the fixed guys faced long ago."
He predicts that wireless broadband will far outpace fixed broadband globally by the end of 2011.
One of the tasks Williams will undertake is building a small team of people to concentrate more on the carrier offload onto Wi-Fi business. "We are going to develop a good Wi-Fi portfolio on the back of security and aggregation and get involved in the standards world so we can understand where standards are going," Williams said.
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