The reality of deploying 4G

Sue Marek

As wireless carriers deploy LTE and mobile WiMAX, it is becoming clear that certain challenges exist. Because of the overwhelming demand for mobile broadband services, wireless operators must consider their network design when evaluating the underlying economics for deploying and delivering 4G.  

Two areas of particular importance are backhaul capacity and offloading traffic. Nearly all operators are investing in new backhaul strategies to help the network cope with all the mobile broadband traffic. In addition, many are exploring ways to offload traffic to local area networks (such as WiFi), which can help operators better manage the traffic on their networks.

During a webinar yesterday, "Wireless Directions: Planning for 2011," hosted by FierceWireless and presented by Mark Lowenstein of Mobile Ecosystems (click here to view a replay of the webinar), Phil Marshall of Tolanga Systems said he expects operators in 2011 to look closely at their network design and move away from a connection-centric focus and toward a media distribution focus in which the network uses local caching, local area networks and other techniques to better manage traffic. "There is an opportunity to time-shift content and manage it intelligently across the network," Marshall said.  

Marshall added that he believes the two most important components in 4G are price and bandwidth, and that by intelligently managing the bandwidth of the network in real-time, operators will be able to more appropriately deal with the capacity crunch--rather than putting the onus on the end user to manage it.

We will be delving into these realities of deploying 4G and more during FierceWireless' "The Future of 4G" Interactive Executive Summit on Sept. 22. The day-long summit will explore the new reality of 4G: from deployment challenges to marketing messages to network intricacies. How are carriers evolving their business models to accommodate the reality of 4G? The event will feature speakers from Sprint Nextel, MetroPCS, Comcast and more. Check out the agenda here and register today. --Sue