By Andrew Till
In between the wall to wall meetings I managed to grab a quiet half an hour to walk the halls of this years CTIA in Las Vegas. As with other trade shows attendance was down (a much maligned topic of conversation of every taxi trip I took but I for one will not complain at being able to zip around Las Vegas from the strip to the convention centre in less than 10 minutes) but there were some interesting insights to be gained about the key themes in the market.
The most notable was the push for ever faster Mobile Broadband technologies. LTE was a clear focus of the show with Motorola and Siemens both very visible in pushing their credentials in the infrastructure space. Verizon used the show to announce its first round deployment partners for LTE with Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson both being selected. Aside from this there banners and positioning statements galore focused on the mobile broadband opportunity.
Net Applications latest March data, also released during the show, perhaps explains why the focus on mobile broadband is so strong. Not only are mobile users surfing more the competition between platforms is increasing with Android based devices growing strongly as a % of the overall mobile browsing user base and shaping us as a key competitor to the iPhone in the US market. This seems to show that clearly consumers we willing to keep spending on mobile internet services even in these credit crunched times. Of course I will refrain from noting the irony of having mobile broadband being heavily push in a city that seems to be many base stations short in the network coverage stakes!
And the focus is not restricted to the US market alone. Perhaps one of the most interesting announcements was Samsung’s new Netbook with integrated WiMax for the Russian market. The NC10 looks like a very interesting proposition with a 10inch display, Windows XP Home edition and a battery life of up 9 hours on a single charge.
So I for one am already looking forward to next years show and being able to test out those 4G speeds.