4 Top Plays for the 4G Revolution

03/08/2011 11:32 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Louis Navellier

Editor, Blue Chip Growth and Emerging Growth

Untold billions of dollars are being spent upgrading worldwide networks to handle 4G, the next generation of mobile Internet technology. A number of companies have hands in building the new information superhighway, and Louis Navellier of Blue Chip Growth recently shared with us the picks he’s most excited about.

Smartphones are really the hottest area of consumer technology now. I mean, Verizon started selling the iPhone, but until then, Google’s Android phones running the Android operating system had actually taken the leadership in market share.

And there’s the new 4G technology. Can you tell us what that is and how that might affect the winners and losers in this market?

Basically, 4G is ten times faster than 3G. It essentially puts broadband internet speeds in the air. Obviously AT&T will have 4G, and so will Verizon, but right now it’s Sprint.

Everybody supporting cell phone towers is very busy, so that would be companies like Alliance Fiber Optics (Nasdaq: AFOP) laying optical cable to the cell phone towers. That’d be companies optimizing networks, like F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV)—anything associated with speeding things up is a big deal.

You just look at your average kid. You give a kid a smartphone, and he’s streaming video, he’s sucking up bandwidth—I’m thinking of my son, actually, but the revolution is an international revolution. You get on the internet via smartphones all over the world.

There are any number of companies are really helping boost this, and we’ve got all kinds of great little companies like Radcom (Nasdaq: RDCM), because everybody wants fast speed in the air.

Can you name a couple that you’re most excited about and talk about them a little bit more?

F5, I think, is a great buy right now.

Hasn’t that had a big run, though?

It had a big run—and it got hit on concerns that networks were slowing down. Wall Street just figured out that only Cisco is slowing down and F5 is fine. Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT) is also fine. As I said, we also like Alliance Fiber Optics.

These are all kind of enablers of the network.

Correct, they’re speeding it up. I really don’t want to own the cell phone companies because they’re going to basically kill each other over fees.

How about Apple?

If you bought iPhone 4 last year, and iPad, with 3G, you’ll be getting the 4G version. Now that will probably happen in the summertime, but in the interim Apple has made a new iPad that doesn’t have 4G on it. You know—everybody who bought Apple stuff last year gets to replace it this year, and that will fuel Apple’s earnings for a long time.

Apple has obviously been a phenomenal story, but the big question: What about Steve Jobs?

Well, he has to take care of his health.

Do we know what it is? Is it a recurrence of pancreatic cancer—they haven’t disclosed it, have they?

No, no. We know he got a new liver—that’s pretty serious—and I know the liver sits right on top of the pancreas, so I have no idea if he has Stage I, Stage II...I think he has to take care of his health. He’s a wonderful pitchman.

He’s a genius in his own way, isn’t he?

Correct, and he rolls out the products great so Apple gets a premium. Everybody loves him, and Apple was a little lost when he took his last leave.

But I think the rollout of their products is so strong now. You know, they have a lot more hot stuff. The new MacBook Air is phenomenal. A lot of people want an iPad with a keyboard—well, that’s your MacBook Air, and it’s fast, and it uses all solid-state memory.

The technology’s awfully good, and Apple is leading the way—and of course, they’re easy to use.

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