LTE backhaul breakaway

Robert Synnestvedt, Cisco
22 Jun 2010

I must confess up front that LTE appears in the title of this article simply to make a point - despite all the supporting evidence that we are in the throes of a global mobile internet revolution, one fueled by an explosion of IP applications, deployed on intuitive new end-user devices (iPad, iPhone, iStethoscope*...), our industry remains fixated to radio-centric vernacular and perspective. I inserted LTE in the title knowing it would draw your attention. This demonstrates how our radio-centric traditions may draw us away from solutions far more suitable to tackling the mobile internet revolution.

Our mobile industry is racing into an "internet generation", but we continue to come to the podium speaking about "radio" generations (3G, 3G+, 4G...)

Radio evolution is a fascinating fundamental foundation to our industry. But if we continue to permit radio tech talk to dominate the way we communicate about and execute on building and managing mobile networks, we'll be ignoring the cries for help from mobile internet revolutionaries. LTE radio-tech-talk casts a spell on us, drawing us into traditional radio-centric perspectives, distracting and depriving us from viewing the mobile internet with the 20/20 vision necessary to emerge as profitable mobile internet providers. Blind radio focus is a "let them eat cake" answer to the mobile internet revolution, to which we can expect our customers to offer us a fate similar to Mary Antoinette's.

To meet the market demands of the mobile internet, we need to align with vernacular, trends and buzz within a much broader internet community. We need to evolve the way we speak to each other within the industry. We must be willing to speak to new people, people that may not know very much about radios, but know a lot about the internet of things. We need to segregate radios from networks.

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