The CTIA show in Los Angeles gave eWEEK a chance to see the latest in wireless products, and to run across some interesting people. In some cases those people and the wireless products happened to be related. But that wasnt always the case.
A keynote appearance by the Governor of California made some sense; after all, governors frequently speak at the openings of big conferences as a way to encourage commerce. But in this case, Governor Schwarzenegger confused the organization with the CIA. And then there was a visit by Paris Hilton. Nobody is quite sure why.
Fortunately, there was also a great deal of substance at the show. I got to see some advances in wireless technology, such as new lines of Wi-Fi phones. There were new international phones and new high-speed data capabilities from both GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) vendors.
There was also activity at the lower end. Kyocera, for example, was privately showing a new line of very low-end CDMA phones that basically handle voice calls and SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging.
These phones are unlikely to find their way into the U.S. market, but the company says theyll be hot sellers in India and South America where CDMA is also popular. The company said other manufacturers are abandoning this part of the market, so Kyocera sees a big opportunity.
Good Technology appeared excited by the fact that its mobile messaging software had been picked up by a number of vendors, either as an alternative to BlackBerry Connect, or as a preferred solution. New smart phones from Sprint Nextel, Cingular and Microsoft all support Goods software.
Qualcomm wanted us to know about MediaFlo, a Brew-based multimedia application for mobile devices. According to a company spokesperson, the new software is more fully featured than current mobile video applications. In addition, the application is not affected by the number of users its serving, making it highly scalable.
According to the spokesperson, the company is also bringing out some applications that work with the GPS chip on many phones to provide location-based services, including navigation. Finally, Qualcomm said there was a new version of UI-1, the configurable user interface software, which would allow carriers, or users for that matter, to make changes to the UI of a mobile device.
And Symbian said the company is moving ahead on a number of fronts. This includes its IP multimedia services, a new and improved version of the Safari browser and Web 2.0. The company also said it would be moving to support a shift in development that would allow vendors to create and deliver short-term applications. In other words, you could download an app, and it would only live for a set period of time, after which time it would be removed. This might be nice for promotional activities, for example.