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January 05, 2010

Interview: 4GWE Conference Speaker Discusses Future of Applications

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

When you build an application, are you married to a particular device’s API? That’s just one of the questions Phil Viscomi, interim CEO for Rapid Mobile Technologies, Inc., will help tackle during the 4GWE Conference session “Lessons in Application Development,” Wednesday, Jan. 20, 10:30-11:45 a.m.

As the world migrates to 4G wireless, there are a number of issues that developers and network operators need to consider, from quality assurance of end-point devices to the proliferation of multiple platforms and several sets of applications to the role of social networking.
“Each company is a social network, which is reflected in multiple sites, including Linkedin, or Facebook (News - Alert),” Viscomi told TMCnet in a special pre-conference Q&A. “Obviously, social networks will be more pervasive as smartphones are capable of interacting with those networks in a wireless online world.”
The full exchange follows.
Carl Ford (News - Alert): Applications are all the rage in the marketplace, and they’re helping sell consumers on today's network. How should we expect applications to evolve as network broadband expands?
Phil Viscomi: Applications should become more IP-centric, server/client based, and integration to the web might be a plausible scenario. These applications will be more pervasive, generally tied to your personal identity and content will be reach in both ends, sending and receiving side of a handset.

CF: 4GWE is all about how customers’ adoption of technology is changing the network. What critical issues do you foresee for network operators?
PV: Several issues: Quality assurance of end-point devices, the proliferation of multiple platforms and several sets of applications will require carriers to test handset performance against a benchmark or a metric. Deployment of 4G wireless is also key component and its adoption by consumers, as they understand the value proposition over WiFi or 3G already in deployment.

CF: Barnes & Noble has now joined the e-reader business and Garmin (News - Alert) has added new networking solutions. What devices do you expect to join the 4G world?

PV: We should expect netbooks, phones, handsets, TVs, anything and everything. What M2M has done for sensors will evolve to be multi-connected WiMAX/LTE (News - Alert) world, with all devices being part of a person’s network, being your MP3 player with a subscription to you a store or to streaming sources, or your TV to multiple cable providers over IP, etc.
CF: Social networking is a large part of consumers’ use of their smartphones. How should we expect it to impact our work lives?

PV: Each company is a social network, which is reflected in multiple sites, including Linkedin, or Facebook. Obviously, social networks will be more pervasive as smartphones are capable of interacting with those networks in a wireless online world.
CF: WiFi led the way into MIMO and OFDM, and WiMAX and LTE are now alternate methods of adoption of these technologies. How should we classify the technologies? Are they competitive, complimentary or serving separate requirements?

PV: For engineers and tech experts, they are as different for an end-user as they are the same: They are just pipes of information providing certain speed. Hence, the key aspect to offer with WiMAX and LTE is a value proposition where consumers see a substantial improvement on performance and availability to their services in this connected world. WiFi will continue to exist, hence WiFi/WiMAX/LTE handover should be something to think about, people should not make a distinction whether they are on WiFi or LTE, or WiMAX.
CF: If you were president of the United States, what tech-friendly policies would you enact?
PV: Broadband access must become a right, a tax-deductible expense, and companies offering services should have freedom to use their bandwidth and intellectual property in any possible creative way.
CF: What are some of the areas of 4G you’re expecting to grow in the next few years?
PV: Bandwidth, quality of service and range. Obviously, on subscriber side, a big proliferation of smartphones that are 4G capable.
CF: Please give me one outrageous prediction pertaining to our markets for 2010.
PV: We may see Google Android take off, and failure or very slow growth on companies not tied to Web 2.0, such as NOKIA, Sony Ericsson (News - Alert), or Research in Motion, I think Microsoft Windows Mobile may fail!
To find out more about Rapid Mobile Technologies, Inc., head to the 4GWE Conference and M2M Evolution Conference. To be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami and collocated with ITEXPO East 2010, the 4GWE Conference will focus on the realities of deploying 4G technologies and delivering broadband wireless applications to a growing community of wireless broadband consumers. The M2M Evolution Conference will focus on how telemetry has been changing to take advantage of the Internet, where WAN and LAN systems were points of aggregation in the past today’s machines benefit from the ability to connect worldwide. Viscomi is speaking during “Lessons in Application Development.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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