A year ago when we first started writing in-depth about 4G, the discussion usually centered on what 4G was and whether carriers should select WiMAX or LTE.
Today when the industry talks about 4G, the discussion is focused on when it will happen and what it will look like. It's clear that WiMAX and LTE are the two technology choices available to operators. And though many Tier 1 operators have chosen their 4G technology path, many Tier 2 and Tier 3 operators are still weighing their options.
Of course, not every carrier will deploy 4G on the same timetable. In fact, some plan to exploit the strengths of HSPA+ and HSPA-evolved as long as possible.
But regardless of the technology path selected, all operators are focusing their efforts on embedding all types of devices with broadband wireless capability. That embedded wireless ecosystem sounds promising but there are many questions, such as who will handle the customer care and how will operators provision and charge customers?
Of course none of the 4G promise will be met without backhaul capacity. There are many different solutions available and most operators will likely have to implement a combination of several if they hope to meet all their backhaul demands.
We will explore all these issues and more in this special 4G Status Report and at the FierceMarkets' Path to 4G event April 1 in Las Vegas. For the second year in a row, Fierce is an official partner with CTIA and will be co-locating this special interest seminar at the CTIA Wireless 2009 conference. We have a lot of great panelists lined up for the event. Check out our agenda here. --Sue