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Wireless Confab in Vegas

The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association held its Wireless IT show in Las Vegas this week:

    U.S. users sent almost a billion text messages between January and June 2002 compared to just 30,000 during the same period of 2001, according to new figures released by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association at its Wireless IT show in Las Vegas this week.

    The CTIA’s research found that as of June 2002, 65% of all devices were data-capable, an increase of 60% over the year before. The industry group also reported that the amount of money carriers made from data services in
    six months more than doubled from the first half of 2001 to the first half
    of 2002.

    These figures ran true to Linda Barrabee, senior analyst for wireless/mobile
    services at the Yankee Group. Barrabee told Total Telecom that only a small
    proportion of the user base is text messaging at present (reportedly just 9
    million out of the total 140 million phone users).

    “We do see significant growth in data services but it isn’t a significant
    contributor to ARPU,” she said. She added that the Yankee Group has halved
    its Q3 mobile data forecasts to US$5.8 million in 2006 (from $0.07 million
    this year), not least because “carriers have already started to compete on
    price before the market has really materialized.”

    In contrast IDC reckons the business market for mobile data will itself be
    worth $16.8 million in 2006.

    Representatives from, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment and EMI
    Recorded Music took part in a keynote address on Thursday – the first time
    such a line-up has appeared at a CTIA show.

    According to Fabrice Grinda, a speaker at the show and CEO of Zingy, a major
    content provider, the debate so far has focused on why the U.S. has been
    slower than other regions to develop a market for mobile applications and

    Attendees blamed the carriers, he said, citing bad pricing schemes and systems that prevented easy collaboration with third party developers. “But
    we’re moving in the right direction [now],” he said, “though not as fast as
    content companies would like.”

    Zingy has seen a change in demand since it first started a year ago, Grinda
    said. “Most of our user growth was [initially] from our advertising. Now [it
    is] being driven by word of mouth.” Zingy has 1.5 million users of which 15%
    come back every week and 35% every month.

    Grinda said the show had been busy for business development if not in terms
    of attendance. “The deal making is incredible,” he said. One agreement he
    could talk about was that with online content provider uClicks to provide
    comics such as Garfield and Dick Tracy.

    Phone manufacturers have also come in for criticism at the show. John Smedley, chief operating officer of Sony Entertainment, reportedly accused
    vendors of putting out bug-ridden phones in their rush to bring new models
    to market. He also bemoaned today’s monochrome screens and small displays.
    Smedley disclosed that Sony Entertainment will bring on multi-player games
    over the next year. Gaming is considered a key component of mobile data
    services and in one of its many announcements this week, AT&T Wireless said
    it will be offering a hit video game (skateboarding classic Tony Hawk) on
    its mMode service.

    Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the U.S., announced an overhaul of
    its text messaging Website New features include a communities
    chat room service as well as customizable text shortcuts and wallpaper. The
    company also announced deals with Airborne Entertainment and The Weather
    Channel to provide information via SMS.

Those kids and their phones.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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