Monday, October 20, 2008

Sprint Nextel President Keith Cowan to Keynote WCAI Symposium

WCAI recently confirmed Keith Cowan, President, Strategic Planning & Corporate Initiatives, Sprint Nextel Corporation, as a keynote speaker on November 6 at WCAI's Silicon Valley Symposium. Keith is a key player in the negotiations leading to the new Clearwire deal, in which Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks agreed to invest $3.2 billion in company combining Clearwire and Sprint Nextel's XOHM. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to hear about Keith's views on New Clearwire and Sprint Nextel's future.

Sriram Viswanathan, Vice President, Intel Capital to Keynote Luncheon at WCAI Symposium

Sriram Viswanathan, Vice President at Intel Capital, who oversees Intel's investments on a worldwide basis in the mobility segments, will give a luncheon keynote address on November 5 at the WCAI's Silicon Valley Symposium in San Jose, CA. Sriram is responsible for investments on a worldwide basis in the segments covering mobile content, services, communications, and hardware platforms. Given the recent turmoil in the capital markets, I am particularly excited to hear Sriram's perspective on the state of the industry and investment in the growing area of mobility.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Education and Wireless Broadband Work Together

The Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) and the National EBS Association (NEBSA) shook virtual hands at the FCC yesterday. In a joint filing, the associations offered a compromise proposal to resolve a previously contested issue.

WCAI and NEBSA had disagreed about a key spectrum leasing issue involving leases entered into before January 10, 2005, when the 2.5 GHz band was restructured. NEBSA preferred that any such lease be considered valid for only 15 years from the date the lease was executed, rather than the date the parties had agreed the lease would commence. WCAI preferred that the 15-year lease period be measured from the commencement date of the lease.

The compromise would move the January 10, 2005 date to January 24, 1999, when two-way services were first permitted in the 2.5 GHz band. It would also provide two exceptions to the general proposition that leases entered into before that date be considered valid for only 15 years from the date of execution. A 15-year lease term could still be measured from commencement if the lease actually commenced prior to March 20, 2008 or both parties to the lease have reached an agreement.

It is this spirit of compromise that is leading to more wireless broadband deployments in the 2.5 GHz band. The continuing ability of WCAI, NEBSA, and others in the educational community to work together facilitates financial and operational support for the FCC's educational vision and promotes consumer deployment. In the end, everyone wins.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hands-On with WiMAX at XOHM's Launch Event in Baltimore

I was lucky enough to get invited to XOHM's launch event today in Baltimore and try out the service. It's fast - really fast. I watched a Hulu video on a WiMAX-enabled laptop, and the video never stuttered, even though there were numerous other users nearby. I walked away convinced - WiMAX in the 2.5 GHz band is real and its here now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Impressions from WiMAX World

I was at WiMAX World in Chicago last week, where I spent almost as much time talking as listening. At the 4G Executive Summit, a developing theme was whether LTE would predominate or the LTE and WiMAX standards would eventually merge. This theme ultimately took a backseat to the even bigger news at WiMAX World surrounding the launch of Sprint Nextel's Xohm WiMAX network in Baltimore. No matter where the 4G ecosystem goes in the years to come, WiMAX is here now, and according to most reports, is working very well. I'm going to have a chance to see the network on Wednesday at the official launch party, and I hope to have a report here soon. That is not to say we won't see significant LTE deployments too. I stand by what I said at the 4G Executive Summit: "each one can play an important role." The WiMAX party is just starting a little earlier.