CTIA: Little news, same ol' spin
It's the third day of the CTIA show and I'm feeling a little jaded and weary. Last night as I made my way through the throngs of people at the FierceWireless party, I was asked by many people to give a synopsis of the hot news from the show. Normally that request isn't a tough task.
But this year I'm struggling to come up with "buzzworthy" news. In fact, I can't think of any announcement from CTIA that had that special "wow" factor that makes it stand out from the pack.
In the past the spring CTIA show seemed to be the place where carriers, infrastructure vendors and handset makers launched all their new products. That doesn't seem to be happening this year.
I think that most companies are making their big announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and the 3GSM World Congress in February. By the time March rolls around and firms start to gear up for CTIA, they are finding it difficult to come up with an encore.
Sure, there have been some noteworthy items this week. Verizon inked a $6 billion deal with Alcatel-Lucent. The dollar figure was substantial but the deal was for Rev. A equipment and A-IMS gear--both of which we already knew Verizon was deploying. Also this week mobile payments and mobile banking seemed to take on a higher profile. Most of this was because of AT&T's announcement that it will introduce mobile banking with Wachovia, Regions Financial, SunTrust Banks and BancorpSouth. The deal will enable AT&T customers who bank with those companies to use their cell phones to check account balances, transfer funds between accounts and pay bills.
And a lot of firms generated press releases around mobile advertising. However, I'm not sure how many of these new advertising "platforms" will actually move from concept to reality. Mobile advertising seems to be the catch-phrase of the show and nearly every media firm has a strategy around it.
I'm not sure that it's a bad thing that the wireless industry seems more focused on discussing issues at CTIA rather than generating news. But for someone who's spent most of her career chasing news items and rushing to write the latest scoop, it's difficult to break that cycle.
I'd like to thank everyone who came to last night's FierceWireless party-we had quite a crowd. It was great to finally meet some of the folks that I've been corresponding with and talking to over the past few months since I joined Fierce. -Sue