What to expect from next week's CTIA show

Mike Dano

Next week's 2010 CTIA Enterprise & Applications show, Oct. 5-8, will mark a return to the fall show's roots, according to CTIA show director Robert Mesirow. The event, previously dubbed "IT & Entertainment," now will focus more closely on wireless in the enterprise.

Mesirow said the fall CTIA event, which debuted in 1995, initially launched with an enterprise focus, but that was quickly eclipsed by the growing business for mobile phone ringtones and other entertaining (and sometimes annoying) goodies. Thus, CTIA changed tracks in 2003 and dubbed the show the "IT & Entertainment" event.

"A lot of times the enterprise is the early adopter," Mesirow said. "It was a little different with this. Entertainment really drove a lot of advances."

Now, Mesirow said, the focus in mobile is shifting back to the enterprise, and CTIA worked to reflect this trend with the 2010 show via keynoters from Sybase, Western Union, Ford Motor Co. and others. He also said more businesses--including American Express and others--are among the show's 200 or so exhibitors.

"Now the enterprise is really gearing up," Mesirow said, noting businesses recovering from the recession are using mobile to reduce costs. "This is the decade for the enterprise."

Of course, CTIA won't ignore the fun stuff. Mesirow said CTIA's fall event this year also will focus on "apps and the app phenomena." He said developers--both the enterprise and the entertainment variety--represent fully 23 percent of CTIA's anticipated 15,000 attendee turnout.

But what exactly can attendees expect? Mesirow said themes at the show will include mobile commerce and smart energy, but he declined to forecast specific news announcements.

Which is where I step in: Here are a few tidbits I've gleaned while preparing for next week's show:

  • Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) Lowell McAdam is scheduled to give a Day One keynote during a session titled "Mobile Commerce, Smart Energy and LTE: the Transformative Next-Generation Network." Because the session includes the word "LTE" in the title, because it's Verizon's CEO and because Verizon scheduled a press conference immediately following McAdam's keynote, I'm betting the carrier will provide details of its LTE launch scheduled for later this year. I'm hoping to hear about pricing.
  • Tier 2 handset vendor Kyocera plans an announcement, but executives have been sworn to secrecy. I'm hoping to hear more about the vendor's smartphone plans, and how those plans could aid Tier 2 wireless carriers' attempts to cash in on the smartphone game.
  • Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is holding a developer's conference Tuesday in conjunction with AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), and the vendor's N8 smartphone has been featured prominently in marketing materials for the event--likely portending an introduction of the device by the carrier.
  • Motorola (NYSE:MOT) scheduled a press event Tuesday, which--based on the company's announcements from the past year or so--likely will involve Android. I'm hoping to hear about Motorola's tablet plans.
  • Samsung said it will make an announcement Thursday at the show, which curiously is scheduled to take place at the company's CTIA booth. Because the company has said its Galaxy S smartphone will carry it through the holiday shopping season, and because it recently announced Tier 1 U.S. carrier support for its GalaxyTab tablet, I'm not expecting much from the handset vendor. After all, how many announcements can one company handle?
  • Smartphone vendor HTC said it doesn't have any major news announcements scheduled.
  • Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) scheduled an event Wednesday where it will unveil offerings it said will make wireless "more meaningful for business users and consumers." The tease could mean anything, though I hope to learn more about the carrier's smartphone plans.
  • AT&T said it will show off its mobile barcode services, and the carrier's business chief, John Stankey, is to keynote on Oct. 8. Will we hear more about AT&T's HSPA+ and LTE efforts?
  • Novatel Wireless and AnyData both said they will offer insights into their respective LTE efforts. I expect to hear from additional vendors on 4G device plans.

(It's worth noting that PCIA's show also is scheduled for next week, where infrastructure, carrier and tower companies could make news. Check out my colleague Phil Goldstein's preview of that event here, and watch for his PCIA show coverage at FierceWireless.)

The Fierce editorial team will be out in force at next week's CTIA Enterprise & Applications show in San Francisco. FierceMobileContent Editor Jason Ankeny, FierceBroadbandWireless Editor Lynnette Luna and FierceWireless Editor In Chief Sue Marek will join me at the show. Feel free to get in touch with us.

And stay tuned to our CTIALive page for all of our coverage of the event.

See you next week! --Mike