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Telecom vendors push for more simplicity, standards

04 апреля 2008

As the debate over WiMax and Long-Term Evolution rages over how the two fourth-generation high-speed wireless networks will coexist, the heads of the major infrastructure suppliers believe LTE will be the dominant standard.

"It's a world where 85% of the carriers have an LTE path," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, president and chief executive of L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co.

"The aspiration to have a global standard where players like us can be as efficient as possible in R&D is a positive for us," said Patricia Russo, chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent.

"LTE appears to be the lead technology that most operators are using," said Mike Zafirovski, chief executive of Nortel Networks Corp.

The executives, speaking in a roundtable discussion at the CTIA Wireless trade show, stressed designing and creating simpler networks as a vital driver to upgrades in the future, and several people at the conference said they believed LTE would be the dominant technology.

WiMax supporters tout the faster deployment and potential in the emerging markets, while LTE boosters cite the wider adoption by the major carriers in the developed markets. WiMax is launching in a matter of months, while LTE is expected to debut in 2010 at the earliest.

Both technologies have industry groups developing them, rather than rival companies.

The technologies, however, could be complementary since LTE comes much later than WiMax, Zafirovski said, noting that Nortel has placed bets on both standards.

The industry has been burned by a number of promises in wireless technology, Zafirovski said. But this time, the carriers are pushing for faster deployments in third- and fourth-generation technologies.

Even as discussions drift to 4G rollouts, 3G technology will still be around for a while, the executives said. In the past, carriers would abandon older networks as they upgraded.

Svanberg noted that 4G technology is more data-centric, so carriers will still use the 3G networks - which are currently in the process of being rolled out - for voice traffic.

"If history is any teacher, network assets get used as efficiently as they can," Russo said.

Commenting on the recently concluded 700-megahertz spectrum auction held by the Federal Communications Commission, Svanberg said he hoped the move to free up spectrum to wireless carriers would be emulated by other countries, which have been more protective of their spectrums.

When asked about consolidation, all three answered - half-jokingly - that there was room for only three in the industry as it moves to the next generation. Svanberg, however, noted that the other major player, Nokia-Siemens, wasn't going to go away.

Источник: Total Telecom

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