Open networks, international flair at CTIA I.T.

The weakening economy may be impacting wireless firms around the world but CTIA COO Rob Mesirow says it's not stopping the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment show from drawing a crowd to San Francisco Sept. 10-12.

Mesirow says that he is very optimistic about the conference and attendee numbers are strong. "There are a number of new exhibitors and participants and several new companies with great ideas."

Look for open networks, open devices to be a hot topic at the conference, particularly during the opening keynote session. Mesirow says that he expects that "open" topic will be addressed during the first 30 minutes of the keynote session, which features several operator head honchos such as Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse, Clearwire Chairman Craig McCaw and T-Mobile USA President and CEO Robert Dotson.

Although this conference in the past has been dominated by mobile entertainment companies, Mesirow said that he expects the enterprise segment to be strong this year. "Every year we see more and more of these folks at this show. We are getting more hospital administrators and other representatives from verticals that are charged with making their companies more mobile," he says.

Although newsmakers such as Apple and Google are hot topics in the industry, representatives from those companies are conspicuously absent from the CTIA I.T. & Entertainment agenda. Mesirow says that both those companies will be present at the show even if representatives from the firms aren't speaking or exhibiting.

You might not see a big presence from Apple or Google but you will see a strong international contingent at the show. Mesirow says that for the first time, conference organizers have decided to have international pavilions on the show floor similar to the spring CTIA conference. "We opened up the pipeline to our international marketing channels and have had terrific response." -Sue

P.S. Be sure to join me at the Fierce networking party Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Mezzanine in San Francisco. RSVP here.

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