4G: Moving from concept to reality

Sue Marek

In 2009 Clearwire and its wholesale partners paved the way to 4G with the launch of 25 mobile WiMAX markets, and more markets are planned for 2010. The service is now available in key cities such as Atlanta and Las Vegas, and subscribers are accessing the mobile WiMAX network thanks to some interesting devices including Sprint's Overdrive 3G/4G hotspot.

On the LTE front, Verizon Wireless says it's on track to deploy the technology in 2010, and AT&T plans to follow soon thereafter in 2011. Verizon is gearing up for its LTE deployment by working with partners on advanced LTE devices through its LTE Innovation Center. Many of these concept products were on display at last month's Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. AT&T has yet to name its LTE vendors, but we are expecting that news to come soon.

Clearly the wireless industry is on the verge of a monumental change and 4G is driving these developments. Not only does 4G mean faster network speeds and bigger bandwidth pipes, it is also becoming synonymous with new business models--open devices, open networks and perhaps a more transparent wireless ecosystem.

But don't just take my word for it. Come and hear about the promise of 4G from the experts. FierceWireless will once again be holding its "Path to 4G" conference co-located at the CTIA Wireless 2010 conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 23. Our conference will kick off with a keynote from Verizon Wireless Senior Vice President and CTO Anthony Melone at 11:00 a.m., followed by a luncheon keynote from Kris Rinne, senior vice president of architecture and planning at AT&T, at 12:30 p.m. Finally, we will close our day-long event with a fireside chat with Michael Sievert, chief commercial officer at Clearwire, at 4:15 p.m. In between those compelling keynote addresses, we will have panel discussions on topics such as 4G devices, backhaul, business strategy and applications. Check out our full agenda here. To register, click here. I hope to see you there. --Sue