Conference-goers flock to see Clinton, Bush

Their speeches weren't peppered with industry jargon, nor did they have PowerPoint presentations or fancy device demonstrations. But bringing together former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush on one stage was a huge draw for the day three keynote address at CTIA. The session room was overflowing with conference-goers, many of whom waited in line for nearly an hour to ensure a seat in the room.

Telling the audience he was a "black belt" wireless email user, Bush talked about the role information technology played in his presidency and the importance of telecommunications in society.  Specifically, he noted instances where he used a secure wireless phone line to communicate with world leaders from isolated locations such as his boat.

Clinton, meanwhile touted the role of wireless in emerging markets and gave examples of how micro-credit loans in many emerging markets are being used to start small cell phone businesses. For example, in Bangladesh the fastest growing area of micro-credit loans are going to women that buy cell phones and then sell phone calls on those phones. "You should be grateful to be part of a business that gives the world a chance to pull itself together," Clinton said. -Sue