SAN DIEGO – At the opening day of the annual Wireless I.T. show, its tough to get down to business.
The show began on a somber note when Tom Wheeler, the president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, which sponsors the event, asked attendees to stand and bow their heads to remember those affected by this mornings terrorist attacks before introducing the first speaker. And while it was with reluctance that speakers on stage began to discuss wireless telecommunications, it was with a feeling that if they didnt, our attackers would have won.
The topic of wireless isnt totally irrelevant. "Its at a time of disaster that communications are key," Wheeler said.
Wireless can literally save lives in disasters. "Theres been a hype around wireless and its coolness factor. When we see this we get a focus on the real value," said Jacob Christfort, CTO and vice president of OracleMobile. "Checking stock quotes doesnt have real value but aiding rescue workers does."
In addition to concern for family members and friends that may be in New York or Washington, D.C., conference attendees are also worried about co-workers that may have been on one of the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center which was destined for Los Angeles. Another wireless conference, hosted by the Personal Communications Industry Association is taking place there.