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John Funnell

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The Evolution of 4G

With or without Apple, 4G is coming

With Apple resisting the move to a 4G network until 2011 at least, other top service providers like Google Android have been able to fill the 4G-less void, yet Apple's resistance raises several questions about the validity and future of 4G, and the relevant infrastructure that needs to be in place to utilize it fully.

With or without Apple, 4G is coming. And with it integrated users will be able to capitalize on faster speeds, which will mean rapid video and data-download connections, and a wide range of new pricing plans aimed at all segments of the rapidly expanding mobile-data market.

"We need to get people away from the alphabet soup they don't care about, and just provide a better experience," Chief commercial officer Mike Sievert of Clearwire said. "There really is a massive consumer demand [for 4G services]. The question is now, how do you stay ahead of that tidal wave of demand?"

But all this change won't come lightly, and the future of rapid downloads and streaming needs to grow and improve to meet a heavier demand from the user. In fact, where ‘heavy-users' were once the exception, they are now treated as the norm, as Smartphone use increases month-on-month.

"There's a new normal being created," said Matt Carter, president of Sprint's 4G operations, who noted in an interview that Sprint has seen data use "explode" on the company's 4G network. "Today we call that person a ‘heavy user,'" Carter said. "But that amount of network use is becoming the new normal."

To discuss these changes, and the future of ubiquitous broadband, experts from across the globe will be meeting at the NG Telecoms Summit (hosted by GDS International) in North America.

Those in attendance will be representatives from Windstream - Jack Norris, SVP Service Delivery and Operations, AT&T - Joe Weinman, SVP Business Developments & Strategy, Comcast - Victor Perez, VP Engineering & Operations, FiberNet - David Armentrout, President and COO and Integra Telecom - Rod Smith, SVP and CIO among others.

Other topics will be discussed from successful and profitable Metro Ethernet Access Networks which are rapidly becoming the transport of choice of new services and on the path to becoming the dominating transport protocol with the carrier/service provider network.

"It's going to be a 4G world - ubiquitous broadband everywhere (LTE/WiMax, FTTX, femtocells) plus ubiquitous cloud services providing service applications, computing horsepower and storage. This will make today's iPhone/ app stores look like clunky prototypes. What kind of business models might exist; how will money flow round? Who will pay for what? What kind of market and business transformation will this unleash? Who will play where in the value chain? What are the implications for today's communications service providers and how can they avoid being relegated to the sidelines as bit-pipe providers? Transformation to a low cost operating model isn't enough to ensure survival - it's merely an entry ticket to the new digital economy - the real value will be created by continuous innovation and becoming highly customer centric."

It is clear however, that iPhone, along with all Smartphone providers will all make the jump to 4G, whether it is in 2011 or 2012, and companies will be more inclined to do so when there is better infrastructure in place to support and outstrip strong 3G networks.

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John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.