CTIA WIRELESS, a trade show dedicated to "all things mobile," kicked off its New Orleans, Louisiana conference this morning with a variety of speakers from the Federal Communications Commission, MasterCard, Pandora and Cellcom. And as the day's events progressed, it became clear what people are interested in: spectrum and data growth.
Spectrum, according to the New York Times, is made up of "the government-rationed radio waves that carry voice calls and wireless data." The industry asserts that it needs more spectrum in order to keep up with the high demand from consumers. President of CTIA, Steve Largent, touched on spectrum in his keynote address: "We simply need more spectrum in a marketplace with more consumer demand," he said. "More spectrum means more opportunity for you."
Representatives from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA agree, according to the Wall Street Journal: "...the future of data use, such as streaming video and photos, is at risk if more airwaves, or spectrum, aren’t put to use," they say. Even the largest carrier could be maxed out in some areas by as early as 2013.
But others propose a different strategy. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski asserts that small cell technology is the way to go. Small cells, also referred to as femtocells, can expand wireless capacity; they improve mobile device reception by channeling calls and data over Internet broadband. The New York Times reports that small cells "increase the density of network deployment several times over," making them key to meeting the increasing demand for extra data.
However, there's more to CTIA than the sentiments expressed by its keynote speakers. According to the trade show's official website, its floors will be open for several hours each day until the show's conclusion on Thursday. Exhibitors include AT&T, CNBC, Intel, Nokia, and more, so attendees are no doubt in store for some stand-out promotional cell phone accessories!