The Wireless World on Display at CTIA

The Wireless World on Display at CTIA


The 2009 CTIA Wireless Show swung open its doors Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center as over 1,000 exhibitors presented the latest in wireless products and services within the $1 trillion global wireless industry.

“Against the backdrop of a turbulent market, the wireless industry continues to advance,” said Robert Mesirow, vice president and show director for CTIA. “

This year’s show will feature a concentrated marketplace of decision-makers working to deliver mobile products and services that improve efficiencies in industries such as healthcare, finance and energy. We are gearing up for a high level of activity at this year’s show, illustrating that despite rough economic waters, the wireless industry continues its tradition of creativity, growth and innovation.”

As the first day got underway, the big buzz on the show floor was all about mobile Internet and some recent figures released by comScore served to back up that buzz. According to the measurement firm, 22.4 million users now access the mobile web to retrieve news and information, more than double the number from a year ago. The general feeling here at CTIA is that mobile Internet access is becoming more of a daily feature in consumers’ lives and will continue to grow. Monthly users grew 71 percent from 36.9 million to 63.2 million, or roughly one-third of the wired Internet user population.

With regard to mobile devices in general, consumer behavior in recent months is suggesting that mobile activity is expanding beyond the bounds of basic tasks and into the realm of entertainment, commerce, and social networking. At CTIA it was plain to see that marketers, of all shapes and sizes, are scrambling to tap into this trend. Additional number from comScore suggest over 100 percent growth in news and information usage with mobile devices and a whopping 427 percent growth over the last year with regard to the number of users accessing social networking sites and blogs on their mobile devices. The firm reports that more than 9 million are accessing social sites on a daily basis today.

Nielsen Mobile tells us that teens and ‘tweens appear to be the force driving the shift from information retrieval to broader media and entertainment consumption but many of the attendees here at CTIA feel this trend, that is seeing mobile activity go from “mobile browsing” to “mobile engagement”, is an evolution that is changing the landscape of this entire market.

“What we’re seeing is that consumers are ahead of the curve with regard to mobile usage,” explained, New York-based retail analyst Lauren Sosik. “And marketers are playing catch up here. The entire concept that consumers are now accessing content – the Net and their own personal content – while they are on the move and not simply sitting at home – brings forth an interesting shift in how best to reach them today for marketers. The rules of the game are constantly changing now.”