Making the most of 4G networks

Sue MarekIt's no longer a question of which technology U.S. wireless carriers will use for their next-generation network technology, but a question of when they'll use it. With the exception of Clearwire and its wholesale network partners like Sprint Nextel, Comcast and Time Warner, service providers in the U.S. have charted a migration path that will have most of them deploying LTE in the next couple of years depending on demand and spectrum availability.

With these technology selections determined and (in some cases) deployments under way, service providers are now turning their focus to the technologies that will allow them to make the most of their 4G network investments. What types of technologies am I referring too? The evolved packet core (which has become a big focus for vendors lately), self-optimizing networks and off-loading technologies such as WiFi, femtocells and picocells. These technologies are getting a lot of attention from the operator and vendor community, but there are still a lot of questions about the benefits they deliver and, in some cases, the business model for deploying them. To help you navigate this topic, FierceWireless has published an ebook that provides a deep-dive on all these issues and gives you more insight into how network operators can make the most of their 4G investments. Here's a link to the ebook, which makes its debut today.

And if you're looking for even more information on the 4G migration path, you'll probably want to attend FierceMarkets' Path to 4G conference, which is co-located with the CTIA Wireless 2010 show in Las Vegas. The one-day event takes place March 23 and features keynote speakers and panelists from all the top U.S. operators. We will open the conference at 11:00 a.m. with a keynote presentation from Verizon Wireless' Senior Vice President and CTO Anthony Melone, followed by a luncheon address from Kris Rinne, senior vice president of architecture and planning at AT&T. At the end of the day, I'll sit down for a fireside chat with Clearwire's Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert. But that's not all. In between those highly anticipated keynote presentations, we will have some very compelling discussions with panelists from Sprint, MetroPCS and more. Check out the agenda here. --Sue