3G networks, smartphones hold enterprise appeal

What enterprise announcements will this year's CTIA Wireless show bring? While no one knows for sure, a few themes seem to pervade the pre-show schedules and announcements. The smartphone and its unique position in the market-sitting at the crossroads between "prosumer" and "business user"--seems poised to maintain its status as a perennial hot topic, both on the show floor and at pre-conference shows such as the Smartphone Summit. Some manufacturers may use CTIA as a forum to introduce lower priced smart phones, which analysts say is necessary for this segment to grow.

Next-gen wireless data networks seem to also have lasting appeal, as do fixed-mobile convergence and unified communications. And with a number of high-profile SDKs and APIs on the horizon (Verizon, XOHM, iPhone), it seems very likely that this year's show will have a serious software bent to it.

As we all know, however, it's the keynote speeches that will truly set the tone for the show. Will Microsoft steal the enterprise spotlight again this year? Or will Sprint's XOHM network deliver the price/feature balance that businesses are looking for? Will Verizon make a major enterprise announcement that blows them both out of the water? Only one thing is for sure: IT departments had better pay close attention if they want to stay on top of the devices, technologies and trends that will drive mobile business in 2008. -Mehan

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