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Comments from CTIA 2012 from Stephanie Atkinson #ctiaw12

by Stephanie Atkinson 14. May 2012 10:18

Well CTIA was a blast last week, and the event was a little quiet for such a robust and exciting city.  The event kicked off last Monday, but I did not get to the conference until Tuesday morning so I missed some of the opening events.  This year CTIA seemed a little more reserved in terms of exciting or revolutionary announcements and vendor news.  Many of the top vendors had booths at the event, but interestingly some of the largest booths were companies or vendors that I have never heard of including Plum, PCD, and Unnecto.  The more familiar ones that had a large booth presence included Motorola Solutions, Ericsson, Qualcomm, HTC, LG, Kyocera, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens.  Interestingly enough, some odd vendors that held booths included CNBC, Mastercard, and Visa.  Apple and Google were both "no shows," which is ironic since they are knee-deep in the wireless world.  I held a number of meetings with clients and potential clients and was also able to attend the Carrier Roundtable.

The Carrier Roundtable gave the top 4 wireless service providers' executives a chance to speak about the world of wireless.  T-mobile USA, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless CEO's each delivered their spill on the market, but most of the discussions were more like a commercial.  I would say the CEO that had the least commercial was Dan Hesse's from Sprint.  There was quite a bit of discussion on spectrum shortages, mobile data growth, video, and security. Verizon Wireless's Dan Mead, was the first up and he pretty much discussed Verizon's plan to buy spectrum from the Cable operators and Verizon's LTE plans and even played a video commercial on Verizon's LTE.  Next up was Dan Hesse from Sprint.  Hesse discussed LTE (Lots to Explain - he jokingly referred to LTE), as well as the need for safety, privacy, and security for wireless devices.  Sprint made a few announcements last week on new solutions for safety, security, and privacy.  T-Mobile's Philip Humm (who is he?, I think most in the audience did not know Humm) was up next.  Humm discussed data comsumption growth and even stated that his customers were consuming 750 MB of data each month on average.  Humm also played a commercial with the new T-Mobile girl dressed in leather and riding a motorcycle.  The theme for T-Mobile was essentially, 'we are still in the game.'  Next up was Ralph de la Vega from AT&T Wireless.  Out of all the CEO's, Ralph's message was the most like a commercial.  AT&T plans to continue to expand its LTE network.  AT&T also played a video for the audience.  

Next up was the Jim Cramer session.  Jim Cramer came out and had all 4 CEOs come on the stage and asked a multitude of questions.  For the most part, there was really nothing too new and exciting that the industry was not already aware of and the responses were much more reserved than in the past.  There was actually too much love between all the CEOs, and of course we would have all liked to see a little more of a match.  Bottom line is the wireless industry is faced with spectrum shortage, data growth is expanding to the point where we will run out of spectrum, the industry is evaluating and exploring options for spectrum, mobile devices are becoming so much of a tool in our day-to-day lives that we will have to start securing them, and LTE will just further the need for increased spectrum as our use of data exponentially grows.

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Stephanie Atkinson - Managing Partner at Compass Intelligence, High-Tech Consultant/Analyst, Mother, TX Aggie, Dallas native, TX hillcountry resident, Interests: Tech, Telecom, Mobility, M2M,and the use of Tech in business.  You can reach her at or follow her on twitter.

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