At WiMAX World 2008 in Chicago this week, I heard a lot of WiMAX leaders talk about how advanced applications will not only drive WiMAX adoption but also set the course for next-generation WiMAX devices and even contribute to the evolution of the business model. But I heard few--if any--specific examples of these advanced applications. Whenever I asked, the responses were vague-- such as social networking, location-based services or my favorite--"applications that we can't even imagine right now."
That may be true, but I'd like the industry to do more that imagine. I'd like to hear about some concrete applications I can wrap my head around. I'd like to envision an application or two that would drive customer uptake and get the industry to the 133 million WiMAX users that the WiMAX Forum is predicting we will have by 2012.
I'll definitely be asking Ben Wolff, CEO of Clearwire, about the types of advanced applications he envisions will drive customers to his company's network once its merges with Sprint Nextel's WiMAX network (The deal is supposed to close by year-end and will include a $3.2 billion investment from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and others). I'll be talking to Wolff during the keynote interview of the FierceMarkets' Future of 4G Interactive Executive Summit on Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. EST. Applications are also the topic of a panel at 11:15 a.m. EST that will include representatives from Digicel Group and TELUS. We've also just added Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T to our panel that will discuss how wireless will soon be incorporated into embedded devices. Be sure to register for the event here. --Sue