[rethink] Industry bodies always face something of a dilemma when their name no longer reflects the most progressive part of their members' activity. The 3GSM (formerly GSM) show managed the transition by dropping numbers altogether and becoming Mobile World Congress. 3G Americas has taken a more straightforward approach and decided the time is right to morph into 4G Americas.
The organization has also gained a new logo and website to reflect the change, which is designed to reflect where the industry is headed in its region. This is particularly true in the northern part of the Americas, of course, where the US is set to have one WiMAX and at least four LTE systems within two years, but the body will also have important issues to address in Latin America, particularly with regards to spectrum plans there.
Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas, says the change also mirrors the shift towards mobile broadband and how that will impact the association's objectives. The board of governors was unanimous in approving the change, he said, adding: "4G Americas believes all paths will lead to LTE." The board currently contains 18 vendors and operators including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei and Motorola. It may be able to add further members as the CDMA wing of the market converges on LTE, which could draw in Verizon Wireless.
3G Americas was founded eight years ago to support the GSM/UMTS agenda at a time when that technology had only about 10% share in the Americas. It now has about 75% and the CDMA community is mainly moving to LTE too, though Sprint has supported WiMAX.
The body says its main missions are to "support the 3GPP technology path as it evolves to 4G technology; address standards recommendations, technical requirements and advocacy for 2G and 3G technologies; and serve as the best resource for information on the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas."
3G Americas renames for the 4G era