I think I'm in for a surprise next week at the CTIA I.T. show in Los Angeles. The last time I attended the show was in 2000. Yep, six years ago. That's when the company displays looked like cardboard boxes and the telecom bubble was bursting. People were talking about enabling data over networks that were running at 56 kbps at the most, and certainly folks from Disney, Sony or other major media companies had no public interest in wireless. Obviously, a lot has changed in six years, but one fundamental question remains the same. What are the applications and services that are going to drive revenues? I mean really drive revenues, not data ARPU in the single digits.
The industry is still grappling with what services are really going to push data into the limelight. 3G so far hasn't been the answer. So the industry looks once again to the future. To wit, mobile TV (part of Gartner's hype cycle right now), running on WiMax, EV-DO Rev. A and HSDPA now, is what the industry believes will become the killer app and cash cow.
What is encouraging to see is folks beginning to look at how to make customers actually use more of what is already out there by improving the user experience, whether that is altering the handset itself or re-arranging the carrier deck to accommodate for personalization to make discovery easier. Of course, personalization is another buzzword in itself. At any rate, it should be interesting to see how much things have changed or stayed the same at this year's show.
Don't forget to swing by the FierceWireless Oasis reception at CTIA on Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 6 until 9 at the Mariott Pool Gardens. More than 1200 of the top wireless telecom execs have RSVP'd so far and we're really excited about this event. Please RSVP to attend. We'd love to see you all there*Oasis will take place during CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2006, but is not affiliated with or endorsed by CTIA. -Lynnette