CTIA: Wireless Bytes

NEW ORLEANS -- CTIA Wireless 2005 -- So you're at one of the largest wireless shows in the world, and what's the one thing that barely works?

Well, duh -- the cellular phone service, of course! The reasons are logical enough. Cram thousands of new people that all repeatedly use their wireless phones into a small-ish downtown area, and cellular meltdown is bound to ensue.

But there is something mildly humorous -- and yet ultimately frustrating -- about being surrounded by the all latest toys the industry can offer and not being able to make a simple phone call without interference and dropped signals.

Still, never mind the reality, eh? Instead lets dive right back into the glitzy, glossy mobile lifestyle fest that is CTIA.

*#@*ing phones: Four-letter words are apparently good business for Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT). After the runaway success of the "hard, masculine lines" of the RAZR phone (that's "razor" to the rest of us), Moto is apparently plotting a softer, gentler option for the ladies.

Ron Garriques, president of the mobile devices business at Motorola, introduced the PEBL ("pebble," get it?) as more "contoured" and "rounded" than its phones for the boys. Unstrung would have written more notes on the lvly crvs of the new gdgt, but it was getting a bit, er... hot in that conference hall.

Slap the Viking: Wireless broadband startup Flarion Technologies turned up to talk shop on Wednesday.

"We are going commercial in 2005 in Europe," Flarion's Ronny "The Rocket" Haraldsvik told Unstrung Wednesday.

But, as is so often the case amongst the balding, the talk soon turned to that age-old topic: How often should the folically-challenged shave their bounces? "I do mine about once a week," reveals Haraldsvik. "I never have a bad hair day."

The Big Oldie? Of course, now that CTIA is back in New Orleans the industry get-togethers and fancy parties are a bit more riotous than they were the year before. In fact, at times Bourbon Street appeared to be overflowing with well oiled journos and telecom marketing managers waiting to get to the next party. [Ed. note: "Hacks Gone Wild," anyone? Perhaps not...]

So Unstrung is glad to note that at least some attendees found a more peaceful way to pass the time. "The only place my wife worries about me going is here," revealed Motorola's Garriques at his firm's big reception at the show. "The antiques shops here are just too attractive. I'm, like, going out of my mind not to be over there right now." Okaaaaaaaay then.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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