The deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) network infrastructure is likely to be the key concern at the show. Verizon Wireless is the largest U.S. carrier committed to deploying the pre-4G technology in 2010 -- it should have the mobile broadband network deployed in 25 to 30 markets by the end of the year. MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) has also said that it wants to start deploying LTE in 2010, so we'll be on the watch for an update on that.
LTE, however, is not the only topic worthy of discussion in Las Vegas, here are some other topics we think we will be hot:
- Will 3G femtocells make it big in the U.S.? AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is testing the waters, but other major carriers don't appear to be pushing home base stations.
- How many app stores is too many? Carriers and vendors are all launching marketplaces to sell or give away mobile software. I wonder just how many wireless storefronts the market can support.
- Off-loading cellular data traffic onto WiFi networks has become a hot topic in the last few months. It is time to look at just how extensive and useful this local area network congestion solution can actually become.
- The Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad is bound to generate more interest at this show. Expect to see more Android smartphones, too, and maybe even some fancier WiMax devices.