CTIA 2010: What Did We Learn?

6:00 PM -- So, what did we learn from this year's event? Here are my thoughts before I weave through the cab line and head for the BART to the airport.

Enterprise dichotomy: There's an essential tension in a show that is sold and promoted as a business-focused wireless event but where the biggest news comes in the form of network announcements from Verizon Wireless and the slew of cheaper Android phones clearly aimed at the consumer market. (See CTIA 2010: LTE's Big 38 and CTIA 2010: The Show in Pictures.) Tablets are getting love: Both Verizon's Lowell McAdam and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Ralph de la Vega spoke very favorably about tablets at CTIA, in a way that makes me think that this class of devices is reshaping how carriers think of gadgets on their network. "The tablet revolution is coming and it looks there's no way to stop it," AT&T mobile boss de la Vega said during his brief appearance on day one. I'm curious to see if we get any new data usage figures for the iPad when AT&T next reports its numbers.

An iPhone rumor trumps hard news every time: The WSJ's retread of its perennial favorite tech rumor -- a CDMA iPhone is coming to Verizon in the near future -- largely overshadowed the show here. You have to love the way that bloggers and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) "experts" have taken the initial rumor and massaged it so that the iPhone is bound to arrive on the Verizon network in the first quarter with a shiny new LTE radio onboard. Never mind that Apple has always lagged the cutting edge of cellular technology, preferring to wait for the widest swathe of potential customers rather than going off half-cocked on a network that will only cover a third of the US at launch.

Carriers pulled their punches: Nonetheless, it's hard to blame people for getting lathered up the over the Apple rumor since the news from the show wasn't exactly inspiring: Verizon added nine cities to its LTE rollout and AT&T announced a data dongle that can support both HSPA+ and LTE, even though Ma Bell's "4G" network won't be switched until sometime in 2011. Maybe we'll eke out a little more news at the 4G World show in Chicago in a couple of weeks?

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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