Nortel: 3G a disappointment, 4G the future

Now that Nortel has sold off its UMTS business to Alcatel, CEO Mike Zafirovsky was free to say that 3G is a disappointment and that 4G, based on OFDM and MIMO technologies, is the the way forward. "We, at Nortel, are very committed to 4G...Because OFDM and MIMO will drive 4G...which has significantly better economics than 3G with far superior APEX and CAPEX than existing technologies," Zafirovsky told reporters during a press event in London. He also said mobile video is the key to moving forward with 4G. But we haven't seen any real evidence that this is a killer application on 3G networks. Some operators have basically been giving video away, while others, like Vodafone, have stopped subsidizing 3G handsets because of the lack of interest in 3G services. Hutchison's 3G business isn't making a profit. Will 4G make things better?

And will Nortel be in a position to capitalize on 4G? The company says it holds 70 patents for OFDM and MIMO--technologies that will form the backbone of the next generations of WCDMA and CDMA 1xEV-DO. But you'd have to admit that Motorola and Samsung might have the early lead as they develop WiMax and WiBro, both of which are also considered 4G technologies. Both vendors recently won a big chunk of WiMax business with Sprint, and Motorola is wrapping up WiMax contracts worldwide.

To read more about Nortel's 4G strategy:
- check out this article from (sub. req.)