Optical/IP Networks

CTIA Talks Business, Startups & Symbian

SAN DIEGO -- CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment -- While you may have missed it in the furor over certain awards from Norway, the CTIA is also giving out accolades today as its annual fall event draws to a close.

The wireless trade body gathered together analyst Andrew Seybold, CommNexus CEO Rory Moore, and Qualcomm Ventures senior investment manager Quinn Li, to judge its first-ever Friday Fund Fest.

The early-stage startup competitors were:

  • Billing Revolution, a company that aims to be a one-stop shop for mobile credit card purchases
  • Chyngle, a startup with a system for mobilizing commerce in sports stadiums; users are supposed to be able to do anything from buying tickets to finding a ride home via their phones, once stadiums have created and installed the custom application
  • Mjedi, wherewith a firm scans shopping items and then gives notifications of when they are on sale
  • ParkVu, the creator of an app that can put a user's iTunes library on his or her BlackBerry smartphone
  • TelCare, the developers of a medical application that allows diabetic patients and their doctors to automatically take and monitor their glucose levels via machine-to-machine communications
After the five presentations, the judges ended up picking Chyngle, while CTIA attendees -- voting via SMS messaging, of course -- picked the medical option with TelCare.

Unstrung, meanwhile, caught up with CTIA VP of operations Rob Mesirow to ask about attendance and his take on the show so far.

"We're tracking 2 percent over where we were last year," he told us Thursday afternoon. "So, we’re up, and as you know, flat is the new up, so we’re feeling good."

The CTIA guy believes that enterprise applications are the topic of interest underpinning ths year's show, with a particular focus on healthcare and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. (See CTIA: M2M & Healthcare Meet Wireless.) "What's driving the growth of this event is the mobile enterprise piece of this," Mesirow says. "For business, wireless is no longer just an option. Companies have to deploy a [wide-area] wireless system."

He also acknowledged two of the big media points of interest at this show: the speech by new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski and the sudden flurry of new Android devices available. (See FCC at CTIA: 'Spectrum Is Oxygen' and Verizon to Have 3 Android Devices by Early 2010.) "I think it's very telling and appropriate that the chairman of the FCC chose this event to make his first major public speech," Mesirow said.

He described the rise of Android as an example of the "the power of an open standard," but, intriguingly, suggested that other open mobile operating systems could come to the fore, too.

"Symbian’s going to come back. We’re in deep discussions now. They’re going to come back strong in the U.S. in the next two years."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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