CTIA 2011: Day 1 Highlights

Mar 21, 2011 — Allan Pulga

AT&T/T-Mobile deal dominates Day 1

“AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of rival T-Mobile was the dominant issue during the opening keynotes at CTIA 2011, despite the best efforts of some speakers to keep the conversation focused on mobility’s burgeoning growth, driven by consumer and business interest in both smartphones and tablets,” wrote Nicholas Kolakowski of eWeek.com.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski refused to comment on the merger, but noted that “unleashing more spectrum must be a national priority… while American ingenuity and our appetite for wireless is infinite, spectrum is not.”

Genachowski’s keynote was followed by a Carrier Executive Roundtable, hosted by Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” show. According to RCR Wireless Dan Meyer, Cramer “did a commendable job in getting reaction from the execs on a topic that was clearly uncomfortable for some.”

In fact, T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm withdrew from the roundtable at the last minute. Most of the company’s representatives backed out of their CTIA engagements following the announcement of the merger with AT&T, Meyer wrote.

AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said spectrum played a big role in the deal. Verizon CEO Dan Mead said his company was not considering acquiring T-Mobile; he is confident with its current spectrum; and he does not see any competitive concerns regarding the deal.

Meanwhile, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse “did an admirable job of keeping proceedings lively, kidding both Mead and de la Vega at various times and drawing applause from the audience,” wrote Meyer. When Hesse took a more serious tone, noting his company’s opposition to the merger and warning it would concentrate a vast majority of the market between two operators, he again drew applause.

HTC Evo 3D phone

“Sprint unveiled the HTC Evo 3D, an Android phone with a 3D camera,” wrote Bailey Johnson of CBSnews.com. “With a 4.3-inch screen and the familiar candy bar/smartphone shape, the Evo 3D’s big surprise doesn’t reveal itself until you turn the phone over. On the back are two 5-megapixel cameras that can shoot photos and video in 3D.”

With this phone, there's no need for 3D glasses. “Unlike movies, the images don’t jump out at the view but rather float off the screen,” adds Johnson. “A simple switch toggles between 3D and 2D for those who prefer their images to stay in one plane.

Topics: Mobile Industry, CTIA

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