What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas this week. CTIA -- The Wireless Association is kicking off its three-day International CTIA Wireless show where Sprint Nextel is slated to launch a new 4G phone and top brass from AT&T and Telefonica will deliver keynote addresses.
Now in its 25th year, the show will kick off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where more than 1,000 wireless carriers, mobile web businesses, and players in the data industry will come together to discuss the wireless market and exhibit products and services. As of Monday, 40,000 attendees were expected, according to Liora Bram, a CTIA spokesperson.
Mobile applications for businesses and consumers will be the focus of this year's show. "We'll see innovative uses of wireless technology for business and personal life and a range of new devices," said Robert Mesirow, show director for CTIA.
"News of 4G rollouts are going to be important this week along with the fact that there's now an entire part of the show dedicated to mobile apps," said Michael Gartenberg, a partner at Altimeter Group.
Both Sprint and Verizon Wireless are expected to make big announcements. Sprint is expected to launch its new 4G HTC phone and Verizon is expected to tout its upcoming LTE network, which is slated to be deployed to 100 million people in 25 to 30 markets by the end of the year.
"It appears software will also play a big role this week in addition to devices and network," Gartenberg added.
Show planners have broken up the show floor into different zones. There will be an emerging-technology zone, which will focus on the future of mobility and cover various markets, including wireless health and pavilions on green technology.
CTIA has also created a zone dedicated to the 20 percent of its attendees who are in retail. The retail zone will display products and services to make the retail system more efficient and profitable, according to CTIA. It will include product display innovations, refurbishers, resellers and POS solutions.
New to the show and in addition to the various zones, CTIA has created Apps World, which will focus on businesses displaying the newest mobile content, social-network solutions, and an education center for developers. BlackBerry, Opera, Oracle, Motorola and Lucid Communications are some of the exhibitors slated for Apps World.
Words from the Top
Keynote speakers will be Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T; J.K. Shin, president of Samsung Electronics' Mobile Communications Business; and Inaki Urdangarin, chairman of Telefonica.
CTIA CEO Steve Largent will be chatting it up during "fireside" chats with Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, and Bill Morrow, CEO of Clearwire.
A trio of top executives, including John Stanton, chairman of Trilogy International; Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG; and Padmasree Warrior, CTO at Cisco, will talk about evolution in the mobile market and what will push new growth.
Plenty of tweeting is expected to come from a panel discussion scheduled on the last day of the show. Twitter Cofounder Biz Stone, U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra, and director James Cameron will be talking about the power of wireless communications in business, media and the economy.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is not on the agenda, which is no surprise to analysts, who say it will not stop conversations about the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.
"As usual, it will also be likely that the one company not present at CTIA, Apple, will once again cast a long shadow as rumors of new iPhones and the next version of the iPhone platform have already started," Gartenberg said.