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Alcatel-Lucent is leading a consortium of firms that have the ambitious goal of establishing an all-encompassing "ecosystem of infrastructure, devices, content and applications for both mobile and fixed broadband networks."
Announced during this week's Mobile World Congress, the effort would encompass networks including 4G, Long Term Evolution (LTE), GPON, and other ultra-high-bandwidth technologies. Conspicuous by its absence was any mention of WiMax, which is viewed as competing broadband to LTE in particular.
Called the ng Connect Program, the effort aspires to smooth the way to the creation of seamless broadband experiences involving mobile phones, computers, cars, gaming systems, and other broadband-based applications.
The organization cited as an example the capability of LTE assisting cars to become an Internet terminal that will enable drivers to dynamically connect to the Internet cloud.
"As we move into the next phase of the evolution of broadband networks with the advent of ultra-high-bandwidth systems such as 4G and GPON," said Alcatel-Lucent's Tim Krause, in a statement, "it is critical that a broad spectrum of companies -- including those from industries that are not normally associated -- come together in a strong ecosystem." In addition to being chief marketing officer at Alcatel-Lucent, Krause is a founding member of the ng Connect Program.
Alcatel-Lucent indicated that the effort will be particularly welcoming to smaller and startup companies. While ng Connect's members include industry giants Hewlett-Packard and Samsung, its membership also includes smaller firms including 4DK, Buzznet, Chumby, Connect2Media, Dimedis, Fishlabs, QNX Software Systems, Signexx, Total Immersion, TuneWiki, and Word & Numbers.
Citing the potential advantage of the ng Connect Program for car drivers, Dan Dodge, CEO of QNX, said: "No more hard drive in the car, no more out-of-date navigation and mapping system, and no more visits to the dealer to update your software."
Why is LTE favored over WiMax in ng Connect's initiative? InformationWeek has published a comparison between LTE and WiMax that may shed some light. Download the report here (registration required).