@ Mobilize: Om Malik Talks With Nortel’s CTO John Roese On The Promise Of 4G

GigaOm’s own Om Malik sits down during Mobilize to talk to Nortel’s CTO John Roese, who he claims is one of his favorite technologists. The discussion melded together the idea of future technologies, such as WiMax and LTE, with a dose of business pragmatism. Here’s highlights from the discussion:

Wireless and wireline networks aren’t in sync: “New technologies, like mobile WiMax and LTE are so important. It transforms it into a pipe in the sky and a mobile Internet experience that you can afford to provide users with greater bandwidth, lower latencies and still make money. You are seeing problems with iPhone. When you deploy it on a 3G network, everyone has a poorer experience. Is that a flaw of the network or the iPhone? No, it’s a synchronization problem.”

Limited bandwidth: He said there’s companies like Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which is building a landline high-bandwidth FiOS network, and SprintNextel, which is building a high-bandwidth wireless network, which will provide the big pipes developers will need to deliver a lot of content. “We aren’t ten years away from it, we are one or two years away from it, so now is the time to recognize and put the pieces in place, so people have interesting things to do with these networks.”

4G opportunities for developers: The bottom line is as we move to this [4G] model, where there’s an IP transport connection, which will be like the Internet in the cloud, we start to see the opportunity to layer on applications. As we start to get to that model it becomes much easier for the operator to let them [high-bandwidth applications] exist because it won’t break the network. It’s very hard to do that today in the 2G and 3G world. It’s a catalyst for new ecosystems to be formed.” On the killer app for 4G: “My answer is simple. The killer applicaiton in the 4G world is now that you are able to take every killer application that’s been popular in wireline and then make it mobile.”

Nortel backing away from LTE?: “We’ve been very clear from day one that 4G cannot be successful if the ecosystem and structure is exactly like the 3G networks. There’s too many competitors doing too much in a vertical fashion…We have to be careful about creating a new business model, or replicating the systems in the past. We have to go into a world where there’s collaboration, and co-competition. The structure doesn’t work, and we have to look at Internet structure rather than the cellular structure for it to work. A lot of people interpreted that as us saying we are backing away.”