FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski opened the International CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment conference this morning by praising the mobile industry’s widespread growth and advancement. "Mobile has gone from a futurist’s fantasy to a nice-to-have part of company’s game plan to a must-have strategic priority. You turned clunky handsets into sleek devices, you’ve made the internet mobile, by freeing broadband from the desktop, and making it available to anyone, anywhere, anytime…unless you are driving," said Genachowski.
The Chairman also commending AT&T’s decision yesterday to allow VoIP over its wireless network and Verizon’s partnership with Google to roll out phones using Android, noting, "These are both wins for consumers."
Genachowski’s keynote speech outlined four FCC goals aimed at aiding the wireless industry in providing mobile broadband to consumers: unleashing more spectrum for 4G; removing obstacles to building 4G; establishing “rules of the road” for a free and open Internet; and fostering transparency and competition in the marketplace. In advancing this agenda, Genachowski called for the wireless industry’s participation, saying, "We want you to be engaged. We need you to be engaged."
The audience broke into applause when Genachowski said he planned to speed up the approval for cell sites, which can be one of the biggest challenges to rolling out new services.
In looking forward, the Chairman made it clear that his top concern regarding the future of mobile is “the looming spectrum crisis.” He asked: "What happens when everyone has an iPhone, Palm Pre or BlackBerry Tour, or whatever is the next smartphone device? The short answer is that we will need a lot more spectrum."
The Chairman closed by stating that the commission’s future actions would be "fact based" and "data driven." He also highlighted the industry’s prominent role in the communications ecosystem. "All of you are changing the world," Genachowski said. "Mobile is central to our mission.”