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Small cells

CES: I'm Not Ralph

4:00 PM -- Are you Ralph?
    No, no, I'm not.

    Because I'm looking for Ralph.

    OK.

This banal exchange kicked off my Consumer Electronics Show experience Tuesday morning in Vegas. CES is generally a rolling behemoth of a show that can make seasoned tech journos wake up screaming at the prospect of its size, its scope, and the attendant crowds and congestion.

It was evident even before I got here this year, however, that things are different. Even the mighty CES show is not immune to the economic malaise that is giving the rest of the known world the blues. Hotels -- normally booked up months beforehand -- were offering rates more suited to a wet weekend in November than the week of most prestigious gadget show in the world.

My ride into the show this morning just confirmed what we already knew. There were no lines for the shuttle bus, no traffic jams on the way to the convention center, and no hour-long wait to get registered for the show. Of course, the event proper starts tomorrow, but the crowds are normally out in force by now, so it seems like the show may be a little subdued.

Nonetheless, I'm here, and if the economic side of the house is struggling we're still seeing some push and cool ideas on the technological side of wireless infrastructure and mobile devices. Witness the femto picture frame from Motorola. (See Picture This: Moto's Femto Frame.) So I'll be looking for:

  • Advances in femtocell design, including more 3G boxes and clever styling ideas.
  • Early LTE infrastructure and demos.
  • Mobile WiMax modems and devices.
  • Any sign of new Android devices.

Look out for video updates from me and other Light Reading and Unstrung contributors at the show.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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