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CTIA Wireless 2001 Update
Posted: 21-Mar-2001 [Source: CTIA press release]

[The CTIA show is in full swing in Las Vegas. Here is today's update.]

Las Vegas -- WIRELESS 2001 today entered its second day, with the keynotes ranging over the entire wireless market, from poverty-stricken Bangladesh to the billions spent on the last spectrum auctions and the day's educational sessions discussing everything from on-line privacy to policy-making in Washington, DC.

The second day of the show, hosted by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), began with announcements by Tom Wheeler about the growth of the show, even in the face of the current economy.

"Forty-eight hours before we opened this year's show, more of you had pre-registered, than had registered through three full days of our show last year," he said. "And forty-eight hours before this show began, we had pre-sold more [exhibit space] than through three days of last year's show. This is the happening place."

Chris Galvin, Jorma Ollila (by satellite) and Kurt Hellstrom (in a taped interview) discussed the growth of the wireless Internet and the need to find a new method of auctioning spectrum.

"We need a system where the government optimizes short term revenue versus long term revenue," said Galvin. "We need to come together and find a new set of rules." He suggested regulators, industry experts and academics could find a new way to allocate spectrum, lowering up-front costs. These costs, he said, reduce the industry's ability to invest in wireless applications and infrastructure.

Ollila agreed, and added, "By 2003 more devices will be accessing the Internet that are mobile," than fixed devices. But, he said we must educate users about what the wireless Internet could do best, such as Short Messaging Services, M-tertainment and location based services.

Mohamed Yunis, an economist from Bangladesh opened the session. Described as one of the world's great social entrepreneurs, he described how he has put wireless phones and Internet access into the hands of some the world's poorest, improving their quality of life and still making a profit. His new foundation will attempt to work with high-tech companies to find a way to put the world's cutting edge technologies in the hands of the poor in a similar way.

"We must bring third world information to the first world tech people, and apply that first world technology," to the third world's problems, he said.

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