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4G Is a Game-Changer

Its only a matter of time when customers will say, We want to go with 4G. Carriers will be ready for the migration; the question is, will you?

Channel Partners

May 4, 2010

3 Min Read
4G Is a Game-Changer

By Vince Bradley, Founder, President and CEO, World Telecom Group

The revolution of mobile broadband is upon us … quietly spreading across the nation. 4G networks are not everywhere yet, but most of the major metros have seen the likes of double-digit latency in wireless … something that we have all been anticipating for some time.

While 3G download speeds were game changing, 4G is more disruptive in many ways. While we were previously limited to three-digit latency and “much slower than ready for prime time” upload speeds, 4G technology has taken things to a new level. For example: Why would an SMB employee come back to the office to fight for bandwidth on a DIA T1 when they could get four times the download and two times the upload speed with latency in the same ballpark for a fraction of the cost? It seems to be a rhetorical question, hence the label of “disruptive game-changing” technology.

While presenting at recent National Agent Partner events, most recently in the two core markets of Chicago and Dallas, we have demonstrated what I have been calling “VoW” or “Voice/Video over Wireless.” We tested the most delay-sensitive technology on the market — “HD Video conferencing,” which is 60 frames per second. We were getting 4-8mbps download and at least half of that speed on the upload. But the key was the latency, which was in double digits, which truly challenges Tier 2 ISPs, and had not been anywhere near to being achieved on 3G networks.

Our Agent Partners were impressed if not a bit scared of it, which is completely understandable considering that most of them of have dozens if not hundreds of clients with DIA circuits. This first wave of 4G technology is just the beginning of what will be the most disruptive technology product in many years. While mobile 4G (WiMAX) goes up to 40mbps, fixed 4G (WiMAX) can scale up to GigE speeds. As 4G proliferates across the country, the light bulbs will turn on in companies, and they will realize that they can have both cost savings and increased productivity.

FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence), with its nomadic capability of being on a Wi-Fi network and driving into a 4G area, begs the question: Will telecommuting and mobile workforces be the future of communications?

They certainly will be a factor, if nothing else. Why else would investors like Google, Intel, Comcast and Time Warner be interested? While Sprint and Clear have brought WiMAX to the table, rolling out core and tier cities in 2009 and early 2010, the edge of the networks and biggest markets like New York City and Los Angeles will be rolling out by yearend. LTE (Long Term Evolution), another 4G spectrum/technology, will be here from Verizon and others in 2010. So, the revolution of wireless technology is coming.

4G is game-changing and disruptive to your business model; it’s only a matter of time when that decision maker you’ve known for years will say, “We want to go with 4G.” Carriers will be ready for the mass migration to 4G; the question is, will you?

Vince Bradley is CEO of Commerce Consulting Corp. dba World Telecom Group (WTG), one of the largest telecom master agencies. Bradley is on the board of directors for Technology Channel Association (TCA), the only nonprofit association in the Agent Channel. He also is a member of the 2009-10 PHONE+/Channel Partners Conference & Expo Advisory Board.

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