In today's keynote, which featured three carrier executives from Orange, Cingular Wireless and Sprint Nextel, a debate ensued about what will come after third generation broadband networks are rolled out.
Sanjiv Ahuja, Orange's CEO, said he didn't want the industry to get ahead of itself. He said the carriers need to focus on 3G first and deliver a solid product to the customers before they look at installing networks with even higher speeds.
Cingular CEO Stan Sigman agreed. He said Cingular is supporting a ton of legacy networks and they are focused on people switching over to the newest networks to get the highest rate of efficiency of its airwaves it can get.
Sprint Nextel's COO Len Lauer disagreed. He said Sprint Nextel is committed to rolling out 4G and will make a decision as to what that technology will be by summer and then start rolling it out in 2008. One of the candidates for that technology is WiMax, a technology that is being used by Craig McCaw's new venture Clearwire in Kirkland. He said it will become important to roll out new networks as high-end applications like TV are adopted by customers.
"We believe the industry has been successful because of innovation. We are planning on rolling out 4G," he said.
Lauer also challenged Europe to come up with a solution for 4G so that there can be interoperability between the two continents.