Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mobile internet is taking off

Over the next four years, the world's telecommunications groups will begin to deploy 4G wireless broadband services, ushering in what some have described as the mobile internet.

"The mobile internet is the new, new thing in the industry. And it is here for real and happening now," said Arun Sarin, Vodafone's outgoing chief executive in a keynote speech at the recent CTIA conference in Las Vegas.

The new technologies that provide the springboard for the mobile internet include WiMax, the 4G standard backed by Intel, Motorola, Samsung and others; and LTE (Long Term Evolution), the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) technology favoured by most of the world's largest incumbent operators including Vodafone, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and China Mobile.

So far, WiMax seems to be leading the race, with real products coming on to the market now and big deployments under way, including the $14.5bn Clearwire consortium in the US, backed by Clearwire, Sprint Nextel, Intel, Google and three of the largest US cable TV networks.

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