Thursday, June 22, 2006

4G://Industry leaders create lobby forum

Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, KPN, DoCoMo and China Mobile have set up the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Forum. It's a lobby aimed at introducing 4G at acceptable investment levels (as opposed to the costs of UMTS licenses).

Questions raised:
  • The technology is far from decided: HSDPA, MobileFi (802.20), Flash-OFDM (Qualcomm/Flarion), Mobile WiMAX (802.16e), UMTS TDD or TD-CDMA (IPWireless), xMax (rather quiet recently), AIDAAS (little covered), iBurst (ArrayComm), WiFi (the 802.11r standard, which must still be way-off). What time frame are we looking at?
  • What will Sprint Nextel decide to do with its spectrum? How about DirecTV/EchoStar? And NextWave, Clearwire? Where is DoCoMo with its 4G experimenting?
  • Will there be an ITU ruling over which spectrum bands should be used? How about analog TV spectrum?
  • Where is the market (ie demand) going? Will their be true convergence? Do we need IMS before we can move to 4G?
  • Why are some big guys missing from this Forum? (Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint)

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