No matter if you’re the bigwig executive of a wireless company or just a techie who loves the latest wireless devices, the excitement about CTIA’s yearly convention is ramping up. Set to start tomorrow, March 23, the CTIA conference promises announcements from Motorola, AT&T and Sprint as well as discussions on everything from “Monetizing Mobile” to state and federal public policy. If you couldn’t get a quick payday soon enough to go to the conference, you can still follow it at CTIA.org
What is the CTIA?
CTIA is the shortened version of CTIA-The Wireless Association. The group is a nonprofit membership organization that represents wireless communications in general. Wireless providers, device manufacturers and third-party product companies are all members of CTIA.
The CTIA lobbies in local, state and federal governments on behalf of members. CTIA also helps create voluntary industry standards (such as charging port standards) and guidelines. In general, CTIA is the head of the wireless industry – while it takes no legislative actions, it does help support standardization and development of wireless tools.
The CTIA conference
During most of the year, most of us don’t hear anything about the CTIA. However, in March each year, CTIA hosts an international wireless conference that draws headlines across the country. CTIA is where many wireless manufacturers choose to announce their new devices, and service providers announce what they will be providing for those devices. The 2010 CTIA conference is in Las Vegas, Nev., and seems to be set to have an exciting lineup of announcements.
Motorola i1 at the CTIA conference
While nothing has yet to be officially announced, Engadget spotted billboards right outside of the Las Vegas convention center where CTIA is set to be held, that advertise the Motorola i1. The billboards use the catchphrase “Grab Life By The Calls” and has a picture of Mike Rowe (of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs).
The i1 phone is set to combine Google’s Android operating system with Motorola’s Push-To-Talk technology. The touchscreen and WiFi capabilities give it functionality, and the fact that it meets military 810F standards means it can hold up to some of the worst abuse users and Mother Nature can throw toward the Motorola i1.
Dell Aero at the CTIA conference
Not all phone manufacturers or service providers have been as forthcoming with announcements as Motorola. There is a rumor that AT&T will be announcing their contribution to the smartphone market at CTIA. If they do, it will most likely be the Aero. A renamed Mini3 – a smartphone AT&T has had running in China and Brazil for a while, this smartphone will most likely also be running a “skinned” version of Google’s Android operating system. AT&T will also most likely be highlighting their soon-to-be offered Palm Pri and Palm Pri Pixie smartphones.
More than just smartphones
The CTIA conference is about more than just announcing the newest smartphones, though. ANYData wireless is set to announce new wireless tracking technologies. There are also very strong rumors that some wireless service providers will be using CTIA to announce their 4G phones – increasing the speed of wireless communications across the United States.
Of course, no matter what technologies are announced, general consumers may have to wait a few months before they purchase the latest and greatest – unless they want to spend all their payday cash on these sure-to-be-expensive wireless tools.