|Issue:||Latin America I 2003|
|Topic:||Wireless Broadband Access Offers a Path to Global Connectivity|
|Author:||Wayne Vande Wall|
|Title:||Chief Operating Officer, Mobility|
|Organisation:||Latin America Lucent Technologies|
As chief operating officer for Lucent Technologies in Latin America, Wayne Vande Wall oversees all marketing, technical sales support, bid engineering, and business management for the Mobility Segment operations in the region. Based out of the Miramar, Florida offices, he has been instrumental in the launch of a new corporate business model and the overall streamlining and restructuring of the business in the region. Wayne first joined the Latin American team in 1998 as Switching and Access Solutions Product marketing vice president before assuming the role of chief operating officer two years later. In this position, he was responsible for product roadmaps, offer integration and presales initiatives that resulted in aggressive market share improvements for Lucent’s SAS in the region. He also served as Switching Product Marketing manager for India and later Switching Country Team head of sales, product marketing, and services for China. Prior to working with product marketing, Wayne held positions within the units of 5ESS Switch Systems Engineering, Intelligent Network Switching Strategy, and Next-generation Switching Evolution, all in the lucent offices of Chicago, Illinois. Wayne began his career in 1983 with AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey as a technical staff member of Operations Support Systems Engineering for lightwave and digital radio systems. Wayne holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Engineering from State University.
The gap between those who make effective use of technology and those who cannot has always existed. The Digital Divide, though, is rapidly widening the gap due to the tremendous advantages that digital technology confers. Wireless, 3G, broadband promises to reduce this gap by facilitating the access of SMEs and individuals to the Internet and the Information Economy. This technology enables not only users on the move, but those in isolated, poorly connected regions, to take part in the digital revolution.
As ever more advanced third-generation (3G) wireless networks and services are being deployed around the globe, the telecommunications industry is still faced with the dilemma of providing simple voice and data access to huge segments of the world population and businesses. Of particular interest for governments and institutions is the bridging of the so-called digital divide. The gap between those who can make efective use of technology and those who cannot has always existed. Today, however, due to the tremendous advantages provided by digital technology the gap is rapidly widening. We call this gap between those who can effectively use digital technology – Information Techology, Telecommunications, the Internet and the like – the digital divide. Based on most of the recent announcements made by operators of wireless and other communications networks, as well as suppliers of infrastructure, devices, and other elements that make possible mobile communications, the future for 3G systems around the world depends on the adoption of new services and applications by corporate users. That seems to leave behind other users that, outside the corporate world, could benefit from the advent of wireless broadband access. So, is there a real dilemma between wireless broadband access applications for corporate users and the type of applications for small business and general users? In reality, spread- spectrum technologies, and in particular CDMA2000, can provide both mobile and fixed wireless access to the Internet and other IP and data services in hard to reach places to small businesses and general users while also helping corporate users become more efficient through mobile data services. Lessons Learned from Early History of Cellular In the early days of cellular technology, business users were the first people to make use of mobile phones. Initially, mobile phones were very expensive – too expensive for the average consumer. But businesses soon began to realize that the ability to make phone calls while on the move improved business processes in amazing ways. Mobile phones changed the way business got done, and the costs associated with investing in a mobile phone were justified, so more and more business users adopted the technology because of its usefulness. Of course, this technology could also be made good use of by smaller businesses (SMEs) and the general public. The ability to make a phone call while on the move was certainly useful, but SMEs and the average person couldn’t afford a mobile phone. Eventually, the business market’s uptake of cellular technology paved the way for the adoption of cellular technology by smaller businesses and the general public. The great number of business people using mobile phones drove costs down. Today, the adoption of wireless phones exceeds that of wireline phones. This is particularly true in the developing regions of the world where the lower costs, ease and speed of deploying mobile networks, including in isolated regions, has facilitated the spread of mobile systems. Many small businesses and the general public, today, enjoy the freedom, accessibility and utility of mobile phones. 3G Data Adoption to Follow a Similar Pattern Today, 3G data services are commercially available in many parts of the world. In fact, companies have deployed or are in the process of deploying 3G networks for more many mobile operators throughout the world including in North and South America, Asia, the Australia-New Zealand region, and even in Eastern Europe. “As more and more business users adopt 3G wireless data, we expect this valuable technology will become more readily available, and more affordable, to SMEs and to the general public.” The technology also has tremendous applications for fixed wireless access to broadband services. The Caribbean and Latin American regions have been particularly active, with operators such as Telefonica Celular and Telesp Celular in Brazil, Iusacell in Mexico, Verizon Wireless Puerto Rico, and Movilnet and Telcel BellSouth in Venezuela, all recently launching service using 3G equipment. In fact, an in-depth study sponsored by an equipment manufacturer found substantial demand for high-speed mobile data access among businesses in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, particularly for e-mail with data-heavy attachments, the Internet and corporate Intranet access. The study, conducted by a third-party research firm, indicates that businesses want a wireless data solution that addresses the main problems of accessing data on the road – speed and ease of connectivity. 3G technologies can satisfy these critical business user requirements. These same characteristics can also make 3G technologies an interesting solution for fixed broadband access by SMEs in regions not served by wire networks. Some estimates value the market opportunity for new mobile Internet services in as much as $63 billion by 2005, specifically in the areas of fast, secure, “always on” mobile services that increase productivity and simplify or enhance people’s lives. This opportunity can only be tapped by delivering end-user services that combine the richness and variety of the Internet with the quality and reliability of the traditional phone network – all this while leveraging the unique capabilities of mobile networks, such as providing customized content based on on a mobile user’s location. We expect the early adopters of 3G data services to be business users, including SMEs, because of critical improvements that can be made to business processes. However, this technology also has tremendous value to populations that are not provided with Internet access via wireline connections. As more and more business users adopt 3G wireless data, we expect this valuable technology will become more readily available, and more affordable, to SMEs and to the general public. And wireless broadband access provided by 3G technologies can deliver access to information that was not previously available in some parts of the world. CDMA Provides a Clear Path for 3G Services From a technology perspective, all roads to 3G services lead to CDMA. In fact, we believe that spread-spectrum technologies, including CDMA2000 1X, 1xEV-DO and 1xEV-DV, and W-CDMA will constitute 75% of the global mobility market by 2005. However, when it was first proposed as a means for increasing the efficiency of the capacity-constrained analog cellular networks some 20 years ago, some skeptics suggested that code division multiple access (CDMA) defied the laws of physics. Evolved from U.S. military research, the technology challenged long-held views and assumptions about radio characteristics. Since that time, however, CDMA has become one of the most widely deployed wireless technologies in the world, providing mobile operators with substantial voice capacity, and significant investment protection through a very cost-effective migration path to next-generation services. CDMA has lived up to its billing as a technology that can support high volumes of voice traffic, and continues to prove its competitive advantage for CDMA operators in adding high-speed data traffic for an incremental return on investment. CDMA was the first mobile radio system to break from the idea of narrowband, defined channels that prevailed since the earliest days of wireless communications. Instead of being limited to a narrow channel structure in a given frequency, it spreads energy across 1.25 MHz of the electro-magnetic spectrum, (the equivalent of more than three conventional analog channels) and simultaneously transmits a number of unique, digitally encoded and encrypted signals over the same radio frequency (RF) carrier Another technology that promises increased capacity for wireless network and universal broadband access is the innovative Bell Labs Layered Space-Time (BLAST) technique that uses multi-element antennas at both transmitter and receiver to enable transmission rates far in excess of those possible using conventional approaches. In initial lab testing, these chips lived up to their design requirements, receiving data in a third-generation mobile network at a blazing 19.2 Megabits per second (Mbps). By comparison, today’s fastest 3G networks offer maximum speeds of roughly 2.4 Mbps With the wireless technology available to provide broadband access to SMEs and other users, now the challenge is to reach large segments of the population with these new services at an accessible cost. If we look at the past, we can see that the uptake of wireless broadband access by business users can lead to a broader adoption by the general public.