Even though Hurricane Sandy did her best to disrupt the 4GWorld conference, the show still went on, with topics ranging from “liquid networks” to the “Internet of everything”:
A fireside chat with the FCC touched on the approach that the FCC should take towards regulating next generation mobile networks. Unlike wireline networks which have a history of strong regulation, wireless has enjoyed a light touch when it comes to regulation. The same should be applied to mobile next generation networks to encourage development of applications and innovation.
And a push for innovation was (not surprisingly) the main focus of Praveen Atreya, head of Verizon’s LTE Innovation who explained that innovative ideas are more actionable over the 4G LTE platform:
“It gives developers the untethered freedom to bring their apps to life”
“LTE removes the constraints of the past”
Atreya believes that the real opportunities of 4G LTE lie in non-traditional areas like healthcare and energy solutions and devices, which span both consumer and business.
So why aren’t connected device developers creating these solutions on a daily basis?
Atreya advocated the importance of encouraging and building the right developer ecosystem (which was something I heard Deutsche Telekom’s forward-thinking CEO René Obermann say at a Garage Geeks meeting a few weeks ago). Atreya explained that service providers need to open up their networks and offer their expertise in one location to support developers with things like entry-level incubation, rapid prototyping to check the value in proceeding, a lab environment to test products, pricing innovation, business model innovation, as well as go-to-market expertise, and a large and active partnership ecosystem too.
This call to innovate and an ecosystem of partnerships was echoed by Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja:
“We need to use the network as a platform for innovation”
rather than the network limiting the services that can be offered. After all, explained Ahuja, usage behavior is changing and once everyone is connected, it’s not going to be enough. In the “Internet of Everything”, we’re going to see value chains which haven’t been network based and bring them onto the network.
And whether the network is described as “elastic” (Ahuja) or “liquid” (Ken Wirth, Nokia), the sentiment is the same: they need to be adaptable, intelligent, and aware of the content being transported over them if the networks are to support customer experience management. More effort needs to be focused on analytics, extracting and analyzing the information and appling business rules to optimize the customer experience. And we shouldn’t forget the importance of policy management with whom this all goes hand in hand, because in order to optimize resources in the network, you need to be able to control them.
More from 4G World tomorrow!
BLOGGER: NAOMI WEISER