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CTIA: Mobile Show Adopts a Latin Vibe

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA -- This year's CTIA wireless show in Las Vegas has a distinctly Latin American vibe to it. And, it's not just because they recruited J.Lo as a keynoter. Speaking at last week's Management World in Nice, France, Stephen Shurrock, CEO of new business ventures at Telefónica Digital, explained the Latin appeal that's bleeding over to CTIA. It's simple: Smartphone penetration in the U.S. is over 50 percent and in Europe it's over 40 percent. In Latin America, it's less than 20 percent. There's a lot of room to grow. While feature-phone penetration in Latin America is approaching 100 percent, less than 40 percent have a bank account, Shurrock said. There's a huge market around payments and digital goods and services. For its part, Telefónica is looking to start with operator billing there and then move into mobile payments. "They will end up skipping some areas of investment and go straight for cellular, digital solutions that we can provide for them," he explained. There's room for others in Latin America as well. According to Analysys Mason, the telecom services sector generated US$1.54 trillion in retail revenue in 2012, with one-third of that coming from emerging markets including Latin America. The firm predicts global telecom revenue will reach up to $1.7 trillion by 2017 with revenue from emerging markets growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3 percent over the time period. Around 20 percent of that will come from Latin America. J.Lo won't be the only Latino gracing the CTIA stages. José María Álvarez-Pallete López, COO of Telefónica, which has a major presence in 10 Latin American countries, will also address the crowd on day one. Prepaid handset makers like Plum, Blu and Unnecto will show off their wares, popular in the Spanish speaking countries. And CTIA is dedicating Tuesday afternoon for the Latin America Mobile Marketing Summit. Light Reading Mobile editor Dan Jones and I don't have a lick of Latino in us, but we'll be in Vegas next week for the show. You can get all the news and our views of the event right here on our official CTIA show site: to http://www.lightreading.com/ctia. — Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Sarah Thomas 5/20/2013 | 2:40:27 PM
re: CTIA: Mobile Show Adopts a Latin Vibe Please forgive the typos...I'm still learning how to Swype on the Note II!
Sarah Thomas 5/20/2013 | 12:15:24 PM
re: CTIA: Mobile Show Adopts a Latin Vibe This is the last spring CTIA show, and I'm not expecting a lot of big news announcements (if any). It's still a great show for meetings with the mobile community though, so I'm hopeful its last one will be a good one.
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