The Telecom Council held its CTIA Wireless 2009 Debrief on October 13th, in Sunnyvale. The event was a recap of the annual CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment Conference. Not a whole lot of schmoozing to be done, with only 12 in attendance in the morning session (one of two sessions). However, the debrief itself was fascinating.
Attendance at CTIA San Diego was said to be 15 thousand! Despite the draw, I got the distinct impression that CTIA doesn’t appear to be focusing much energy on the global perspective.
FCC Chairman Julius Genechowski was reported to be among the presenters. We learned that he spoke of plans to push back on municipalities that block new cell towers, by forcing faster responses to infrastructure proposals. Everybody wants an improved network, right? But who wants a tower in their backyard? Unless of course, it’s one of those neighborhood enhancing fake trees. On a somewhat related note, AdMob reported that 40% of wireless web traffic nationwide is iPhone related. OK that’s not helping my service reliability. Oh wait, I’m on Verizon…never mind.
Skype over 3G? Now that’s a quandary for carriers. This is an entertaining situation, as I understand it. For example, Skype is blocked on iPhone and Blackberry (at least until very recently). If AT&T allows it, they could sell more data plans needed to support it; plus it would make them look more open. The downside for AT&T is that they would lose long distance revenue; and Skype would burden AT&T’s already stressed network. What’s a leading carrier to do? Meanwhile, the Skype app for iPhone is reportedly very stable with its latest release. Crazy right? It’s a good time to by Skype! JaJah, mig33, Truphone and Fring valuations aren’t looking too shabby either. I’m sensing continued 3G/4G network issues on the horizon. Smart WiFi anyone?
In a strange twist, Verizon will offer Andriod phones, swallowing it’s hatred of Google, in order to compete with Apple and AT&T. As I edit this post, Verizon has hinted at the release of a new Driod phone, in a campaign that goes after the iPhone. Guess what? The app space is about to get hotter.
Not that Microsoft needs help losing market share, but the industry is convinced that Android will put some serious hurt on Windows Mobile (now known as Windows Phone). What else can I say about Microsoft, that is potentially exciting? I’ll have to get back to you on that.
Widgets appear to be one of the next big things in mobile phones, having found a place on both smart phones and feature phones. They’re giving carriers an opportunity to recapture the content platform, but are also expected to be the next area of fragmentation in mobile development. Despite all the ongoing excitement over app stores and widgets, SMS apps are being seen as the place to go if your in the mobile development space for business. Much of this interest has been fueled by, what a surprise, Twitter. Some in the industry even see SMS is more important than the Jesus Phone…I mean the iPhone.
And the question we always pose is, where does Less Networks fit in? We’re exploring ways to bring new mobile content, application and widgetry awareness to Smart WiFi users and WiFi users at large. This we hope will be a boon to users and developers alike. And did I mention that issue of overtaxed 3G networks–the one where smart phones seek refuge in WiFi?