Arun Sarin brings MWC speech to CTIA

Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin kicked off the second day of the CTIA Wireless show here in Las Vegas by explaining to the audience that Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson's keynote yesterday was partially an April Fool's joke.

"Richard Branson regaled you with ideas about Mars yesterday… but I have to remind you: Today is April 2nd and we're going to get down to business right away," Sarin said to applause and laughter.

The timeliness of Sarin's speech, however, ended right there. While his lead-off keynote speech wasn't a carbon copy of the one he gave at Mobile World Congress two months ago, the vast majority of the speech was. Here were the key redundancies:

  • WiMAX should become part of the LTE standard.
  • We need fewer mobile operating systems.
  • Carriers must not allow themselves to become bit pipes.
  • The time is now to invest in our networks in order to reap the upside of the mobile Internet, or someone else will see that upside instead.

Check out our coverage of Sarin's speech at Mobile World Congress to relive the magic a third time.

Sarin did give a few updated statistics about the Vodafone Group:

  • There are 25 million 3G customers in its footprint
  • 1.5 million Vodafone subscribers are on the mobile Internet
  • Vodafone subs have streamed 2.5M YouTube videos
  • Vodafone subs have completed 92 million searches through its mobile Google search offering
  • Four million Vodafone users have subscribed to the carrier's Vodafone at Home service, which allows users to pay landline rates when close to home.
  • Nearly 3 million Vodafone users subscribe to the enterprise version of that service, which allows them to pay landline service prices when near work.

While Sarin lauded the stats, he said that the numbers are less impressive than the fact that users are demanding these services. -Brian

Click here to see photos of today's keynotes.ÂÂ

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