Uncommon Wisdom

Jul 23 2008   5:51PM GMT

ITU approves 4G technical requirements

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

The ITU has approved its technical requirements document for 4G services and will be ready to consider technology applications this fall. This will certainly kick up the noise level in the WiMAX versus LTE battle, but the truth is that the issue may be less relevant because of the continued failure of the mobile operators to find a strong business case for non-voice services other than Internet access.

Cellular services at 100 Mbps may be technically feasible under either of the standards sets, but there is no way that Internet mobile access could sustain the investment given the price resistance of the users.

There are clearly major steps needed here, and the ITU and other standards bodies are not focusing on any feasible approach, in part because the business side of the process is out of their scope. We believe that the operators themselves have been struggling with what to do next, and they are becoming a bit more direct in their criticism of equipment vendors’ lack of help in this area.

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