ITU Telecom: Cloudy, Smelly & Wireless

Climate change, economic recovery, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and socio-political issues look set to take center stage at the ITU Telecom World 2009 event in Geneva (Oct 5-9), with many Forum sessions focused on the impact of information and communications technologies on developing economies. (See Geneva, Anyone?)

But it's not just going to be a week of worthy issues -- the weird, the wonderful, and (overwhelmingly) the wireless are set to play supporting roles.

Wireless technologies and services are set to dominate the technology and services debates, presentations, and show floor booths, with WiMax rollouts and developments set to feature strongly, alongside talk of LTE and the mobile broadband market in general. (See ITU Telecom: LTE in China and Taking LTE Global.)

Russian WiMax service provider Yota will be providing an update on its growth, while player Packet One (P1) will be talking about its experiences in the Malaysian market. (See AsiaWatch: Orange Alert! and Yota Boasts WiMax Subscriber Growth.)

By the time those companies have provided their updates, host national operator Swisscom Mobile AG says it will have fired up its HSPA+ network for enhanced mobile data coverage, and will have unveiled its "prototype robot which reduces construction work in fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network expansion." (See Swisscom Shows Off at ITU.)

All very well, but if a robot can't deliver a decent cup of espresso, then it's going to struggle to impress...

Elsewhere on the show floor, Chinese vendor ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) is set to unveil a range of smartphones and a new metro switch built around its own in-house-developed integrated circuits (ICs). ZTE also expects to proclaim itself as the world's third-biggest GSM network infrastructure supplier.

If that claim sends you reaching for the smelling salts, then you might find the Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI) stand alluring: The software specialist is unveiling a number of application innovations, including "scented messaging." Scent it and send it? We'll see. Light Reading might wave its schnoz in the direction of the Comverse stand and see what whiffs it picks up.

Comverse, along with ZTE and a handful of other established vendors, are, at least, "known' names." But there are plenty of unknowns filling out the show floor at this event. Here's a selection of exhibitor names that either caught our eye and/or raised a smile:

  • Abonobo
    It "founded me-marketing," allegedly.
  • Axelprod
    GSM transmission that sounds kinda painful.
  • Boozter
    Messaging technology, unfortunately -- not "the hard stuff."
  • Everyone Counts
    Secure ballot-counting technology... We're not offering suggestions of possible market opportunities, but we remember something about Florida and a guy named Jeb.
  • Jain Irrigation Systems
    This is a telecom show, right?
  • Les Alchimistes
    Magic name -- no idea what they do
  • Meet The Boss
    All the way to Geneva to do what? Come on...
  • Rays of Hope
    Natural optimists, we assume.

In case you missed it, here's some ITU Telecom stuff we already ran:

Get all the news from the show at our ITU Telecom World 2009 microsite.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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