Editor's Corner

CTIA IT 2005: The Show in Review

CTIA IT & Entertainment 2005 is now over and I am exhausted. Now that the show is behind us and the fourth quarter is just before us, it's time to review the trends that emerged from the show and take a look at where the wireless industry stands as we enter the last leg of year.

The first trend I noticed at this year's CTIA IT & Entertainment is that the mobile enterprise market seems stagnant. While companies are deploying mobile enterprise solutions, the technology and the market momentum seems to have stalled. Enterprises are not spending on IT the way they did in the 1990s and despite the recovery in the overall economy, mobile enterprise spending seems to still be lagging. I do not expect this to change anytime soon. In the 1980s and 1990s, businesses ogled technology, sending representatives to tech trade shows and spending big bucks on deployments. Much of this spending was worth it. The gains in efficiency during this time period were significant.

But, the times they are a changin'. IT has matured, and in the eyes of CIOs so too has the mobile enterprise market. While businesses will continue to spend on mobile deployments, they will do so with tighter budgets and bigger demands for immediate ROI. IT, including mobile enterprise, must now compete for budgets with other corporate initiatives. Mobile vendors that can meet these needs will survive and those that cannot will die off.

Another issue facing the mobile enterprise market is the continued dominance of Research in Motion. While Microsoft, Nokia, and a number of mobile email rivals, including Good Technology, Visto, and Intellisync, continue to make progress in the mobile email space, no one has scored a knock out punch against the BlackBerry. Even with the success of the Treo, the BlackBerry still reigns supreme and RIM continues to post impressive growth.

As for mobile content, well, what can I say. Mobile content is a real business with apps like ring tones and wallpapers generating billions of dollars in revenue. Even emerging forms of mobile content, like mobile TV, have crossed the initial threshold. MobiTV now claims 500,000 paying subscribers, and QUALCOMM is moving fast to launch Media FLO. Mobile music, including full-track downloads, is also moving forward. I was simply in awe of the size of the mobile content industry at this year's CTIA IT. I expect even bigger news in February at 3GSM and in April at CTIA Wireless. I want to thank the good folks at CTIA for a great show.

Next week I will be out of the office taking an executive education class at Columbia University. While I am away, my new Assistant Editor, Brian Dolan, will be filling in for me. If you want to introduce yourself to Brian, send him an email at [email protected] Have a great weekend everyone. - Stephen