Mobile Future

Network provider highlights at CTIA show

Nothing is more relevant to our “Mobile Future” than the advent of new wireless technologies, which is why the CTIA Show in Las Vegas has been the hot topic of this week’s blog posts. Culminating yesterday, the show provided a convergent platform for network providers, application developers, manufacturers, and wireless data and internet companies to engage in constructive industry dialogue, unveil their newest creations and lay the groundwork for concepts that will drive the wireless industry forward. Today, we’ll focus on a few of the network initiatives that made headlines:

AT&T announced Wednesday it would be offering consumers lacking wireless service at home a quick-fix as early as April. For $150—with certain options for mail-in rebates—AT&T subscribers can purchase a femtocell that picks up cell phone signals and relays them through the home’s Internet connection. AT&T’s 3G MicroCell is similar to models released by Verizon and Sprint; however, AT&T’s goes a step further by relaying both calls and broadband data.

Sprint is rolling out its first-ever 4G phone this summer, CEO Dan Hesse announced Tuesday at CTIA. The Evo 4G is the first phone with capabilities to use the new Clear network. Boasting comparable speeds to that of home broadband, the 4G device promises to be more conducive to streaming online video and video calling.

Verizon will launch its own app store this Monday, March 29th. Consumers who purchase apps through the store will be able to pay for them with their cell phone bill, which differs from the separate purchasing accounts necessary with other providers. Additionally, Verizon announced Skype would be available on nine phone models starting yesterday, allowing subscribers to swap calls with other Skype users at no extra cost.

As USA Today reported, T-Mobile unveiled a new broadband service—known as the High Speed Package Access Plus—which promises consumers access to the fastest network in the industry.