Catching up from CTIA

Finally catching up after CTIA last week. I’ll try to cram my thoughts in here before I crash for the night. I’m disappointed with my ability to do mobile blogging. Biggest problem was that I was just too d**n tired to get organized between non-stop meetings during the day and the usual excesses at sponsored parties at night. Other challenges included keeping my laptop charged, the back-pain resulting from lugging the laptop around the show, and my poor thumb-typing speed on the Treo. Suppose I should go back to pen and paper. I’ll see what I can manage this week at Web 2.0.

Luckily, thanks to Kansas City, I’m in a good mood (Go E-A-G-L-E-S).

Here are my CTIA notes:

  • Probably the coolest thing I saw at CTIA was Red Cross donations via SMS. Don’t know if it’s across every carrier, as I’ve only tested it on Verizon. Here’s what you do….

    Send a message to 2HELP containing the word ‘help’. You’ll receive a validation text:

    HELP: You are making a $5 donation to the Katrina Relief Effort. 100% of your gift & msg fees will go to the Red Cross. Pls reply with ‘Y’ to confirm.

    When you reply ‘y’, you’ll receive a confirmation text:

    Thx 4 donating $5 to Katrina Relief. Give upto [sic] $25 and ur gift will be on ur next bill & sent in full to the Red Cross. 4 more info, go 2 www.redcross.org.

    Love to see technology applied in helpful ways!

  • There was a decent panel of US carriers discussing emerging opportunities. Highlight for me was listening to Michael Grossi, VP of Business Development, SK-Earthlink (Skye Dayton couldn’t make it). This is a carrier designed for me, with focus on taking the South Korean experience and bringing it to the US. Expect very cool broadband apps and emphasis on location. I’m hoping they’re MVNO’ing on the Verizon network.

    Some of the apps he talked about…LBS with friend finder and mapping, music and thus no need for separate MP3 player, home network monitoring, traffic conditions, mo-blogging, integration of satellite tv or broadcast tv.

    Greg of Sprint-Nextel had an interesting fact about the Nextel LBS audience: their average demographic is a 40 male making over $90k/year. I’m not surprised, as this isn’t far off of surveys that I’ve seen.

    A question about VOIP got lots of opinions:

    Jim of Cingular questioned whether consumers will save that much money when voice minutes are dropping so quickly. He also questioned difficulties of quality of service on wireless networks (and roaming from one network to another, wifi, etc). Advantages include better in-building coverage and nice fit with efforts of Cingular’s parents (SBC and BellSouth). Nevertheless, he said they’re all over it. And he sees their biggest challenge over the next 3-5 years will be the intelligent optimization of their data networks.

    Jim of T-Mobile says that they have a split personality due to fact that T-Mobile Europe has wireline business but not in the US. He said it’s very significant so many calls are made from within the home.

    Michael of SK-Earthlink sees great future combination of WiFi and EV-DO.

    Gary of Sprint sees the classic model of an industry about to be disrupted. He sees too many offerings across the market and says that carriers need to figure it out.

    The common refrain from the carriers was about quality of service. And I think that’s accurate, the only way for carriers to remain relevant in the future will be by providing a fantastic data network with good billing systems. Carriers can make good money for a long time to come as a big (but not dumb) pipe.

  • Line of the day. Probably an old one, but new to me. 3G = Games, Gambling, and Girls.

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