Will Motorola steal the limelight at CTIA IT?

Although the CTIA is positioning next week's CTIA IT & Entertainment conference in San Diego as a very vertical-focused show with an emphasis on enterprise, smart grid and mobile healthcare applications, it appears to me that Motorola and its rumored second Android phone launch may turn out to be the biggest attention grabber.

Yesterday rumors were swirling that Verizon and Motorola will debut a Motorola-made phone running on Google's Android platform next week. Sources have suggested to Fierce that this likely will happen at Tuesday's MotoDEV Summit, which is co-located with the CTIA IT show. If this Verizon Android device debut occurs, it likely will bring some much needed buzz to the San Diego confab. 

Besides Motorola's Android device, we expect to get some hands-on time with other intriguing new phones such as the nuvifone G60, the HTC Hero and the Palm Pixi, as well as some of the latest netbooks. Devices will be a big part of the Hot for the Holidays awards ceremony that will take place Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. on the show floor.

Of course, the other big headline maker next week will be the keynote address on Wednesday by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.  Although policy-oriented keynotes haven't been a big draw in the past, Genachowski's speech likely will cause a stir since the impact of his proposed net neutrality rules could dramatically alter the wireless industry. I expect that having Genachowski on stage the same morning as AT&T Mobility CEO and President Ralph de la Vega will be an interesting mix. I also think we will see other top wireless carrier executives in the crowd listening to Genachowski's speech. This net neutrality discussion is so critical to the future of all the big carriers, I don't see how the top executives can afford to miss it.

Aside from these two major news events, I think the rest of the CTIA IT show will be a mix of mobile health initiatives, smart grid partnerships and perhaps a few mobile content-related announcements. Just three and four years ago, mobile media and entertainment was the center of this show, but now that has moved to the sidelines to make room for the vertical industries, which many expect to be the next big growth area for wireless. 

Look for all the latest coverage and photos from CTIA IT at our CTIALive website and in FierceWireless, FierceMobileContent, FierceDeveloper and FierceMobileIT. See you in San Diego. --Sue