John Roese, chief technology officer of Nortel Networks, is one of my favorite technologists; he can marry the promise of technology with hard-nosed business pragmatism like no one else. When we met up two years ago, he and I talked about both “wideband” and “hyperconnectivity,” two themes that have become pervasive in my coverage over the past few months.
Our conversation was unusual in that we didn’t talk about hardware, the gear that his company sells. Instead, we focused almost entirely on the “applications” and “innovation” of pervasive wireless broadband, the underpinnings of hyperconnectivity. We are beginning to see some of that play out already, with strong growth in the sales of iPhone applications at Apple’s iTunes App store, for example.
As more devices capable of connecting to the Internet at high speeds emerge, and screen sizes increase, we are going to see a further upsurge in the innovation of the ecosystem. It is the central thesis of our conference, Mobilize 08, which will be held on Sept. 18th at the Mission Bay Center in San Francisco.
It is also one of the reasons I’m so excited to announce that John is going to be speaking at the conference. In a fireside chat, I will ask him about the future of the wireless ecosystem — from 3G to WiMAX to LTE — and how it opens up the innovation treasure chest. If you want to know what’s on his mind, check out his blog.
John joins a growing lineup of experts that will be speaking at Mobilize. As we have already announced, Rich Miner of Google’s Android team and Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco Systems, will be delivering keynotes. I hope to announce a few more visionaries and experts to whom I turn when I’m looking for answers.
Early-bird tickets to the event have already gone on sale. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to check out the event details there. If you’re a startup or an app builder with a really cool new product to show off, send us your pitch. And if you’re interested in sponsoring the event, please email our ad group at sponsors at gigaom dot com.