CTIA is the trade and lobby organization that represents wireless operators, handset manufacturers and the rest of the wireless industry in Washington. In order to pay for their lobbying efforts, CTIA produces two trade shows a year: a large mega show in the spring and a smaller show focused on enterprise and entertainment in the fall. Last week, I was in San Francisco to attend the CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2010 show at the Moscone Center West.
Due to the tough economy, this show was much smaller than in previous years. It seems to me that Steve Largent, CTIA's President and CEO (and former NFL star), should combine the two shows into one and move it to be a little later in the spring. That way, it would become a good offset to the GSMA Mobile World Congress conference held in Barcelona each February.
My vendor briefing meetings at CTIA
Most of my time at the show was spent going from one vendor briefing meeting to another. I never once set foot in the exhibition area. I had a number of really good briefing meetings with some exciting companies. To me, this is the only real value that directly comes out of attending CTIA.
1. DIDMO/GetJar: I met with Angelo Biasi, Vice President of Business Development. DIDMO is another application generator. They announced a distribution partnership with GetJar that provides an online store for mobile applications. This gives DIDMO developers an additional distribution channel.
2. HeyWire: One of the problems with sending texts internationally is the cost. While you may be on an unlimited text plan in the United States, it will cost you anywhere between 25 cents and $1.00 to send and receive a text from someone outside the United States. HeyWire solves that by sending the text over the Internet to others who have a HeyWire account. Thus, if you often send texts to someone in Europe, you could both get a HeyWire account and then text to each other for free. HeyWire makes money via advertising. HeyWire also allows users to interact via social messaging, chat and IM. Thus, in this instance, HeyWire becomes a "control tower" for messaging between mobile users and their social networking appearances.