Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Future of Wireless international conference puts spotlight on growing demand for mobile broadband

UK: With the phenomenal growth in smartphones, tablets and other data-rich devices driving demand for mobile broadband services, wireless networks are coming under increasing stress, says Cambridge Wireless, the leading independent wireless business and technology community. And, with no clear match in the willingness by users to fund their mobile data habits, there is an urgent need to restructure value chains and business models and to invest in next generation wireless infrastructures and spectrum availability.

These are some of the issues that will be addressed at the third Future of Wireless International Conference on June 27-28 with speakers from major industry players including Qualcomm, BBC, Broadcom, Deutsche Telekom, Huawei, Iridium, Nokia, Microsoft, Ofcom, Reliance and Three.

“It is clear that everyone in the wireless value chain including hardware manufacturers, content owners and network operators all have a part to play in shaping the new mobile ecosystem to deal with networks under stress,” says Soraya Jones, CEO at Cambridge Wireless. “By bringing together both established companies and new players, Cambridge Wireless can help to facilitate discussion, cooperation and innovation to meet the challenges ahead and deliver the services and experience users will expect.”

Roberto Di Pietro, VP Marketing for Qualcomm QCT Europe adds: “By providing better mobile networks we can create new opportunities for growth. By having a greater availability of mobile broadband and providing more capacity and coverage, users will get a better quality of experience and service; therefore more people will use the services available to them such as gaming and augmented reality – this is essential for industry development and growth.”

While new technologies are emerging such as LTE and Femtocells, it is not a given that all demand has to be met, suggests William Webb, from the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board and CTO of Neul: “Congestion happens in many other areas – on our roads for example – and either congestion or price rationing is likely to be necessary otherwise demand for a ‘free’ resource will become unbounded.”

One of the topics to be discussed at the Future of Wireless International Conference will be the potential roll of a Big ‘Wireless’ Society. “The only way that the forecast demand for wireless broadband can be met is with smaller cells and as with WiFi, a mechanism will be needed to bring these independent cells into a consolidated network; effectively a way of selling capacity ‘micro-generation’ into a large telecoms network,” suggests Webb.

“As demand for mobile broadband continues to rocket upwards, conventional modes of delivering mobile service simply aren’t going to hold up. Real, breakthrough innovation is an imperative if we’re going to overcome network congestion in urban centres and provide better access in rural areas,” says Houston Spencer, VP Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent. “The historical dependence on heavy, macro radio networks will give way to a mixed approach with small cells that can be deployed anywhere, in a tiny footprint and at much lower capital and environmental cost.”

“While mobile technology is creating many opportunities to enhance people’s lives in profound ways it is critical that we understand and successfully manage key stress points emerging from this rapid growth and continue to focus on innovation and investment to expand access to mobile broadband services globally,” said Peter Whale, board member of Cambridge Wireless and director of Product Management for Qualcomm.

The 2011 Future of Wireless International Conference at St John’s College Cambridge will build on the success of last year’s event that attracted over 300 delegates, sponsors and exhibitors representing every part of the wireless value chain. “The conference is designed to provide a dynamic environment for delegates to share and gain insight into the future of the mobile and wireless marketplace, as well as shaping an integrated view of the industry as a whole,” said David Cleevely, chairman of Cambridge Wireless.

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