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5 Reasons to Attend CTIA 2011

Everyone likes a party, and CTIA provides ample opportunities for festive networking.  Yet shrinking margins have lead to a downturn in wireless carriers attending industry events and many vendors and investment professionals have followed suit.  Nevertheless, 2011 may be year to come back.

  1. LightSquared will announce…something.  The talk on the street is about a Radio Access Network (RAN) sharing with Sprint.  Most speculation centers around a simple space sharing agreement, but new technologies (see below) and joint planning could lead to higher levels of integration. 
  2. “Small Cell” technology is ready for the real world and will be on display.  These small antennas – like Lucent-Alcatel’s Rubik’s cube sized lightRadio – will provide ways for wireless carriers to fill holes in their networks with relying on traditional cell site construction.
  3. Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas that support both new spectrum and the new LTE technology are on their way.  CTIA will provide ample opportunities to understand both the possibilities and commercial availability of the latest versions.
  4. Multi-mode base stations (BTS’s) like those announced by Huawei and Freescale also provide opportunities for carriers to share cell site equipment in unprecedented ways.  A combined MIMO antenna and Multimode BTS deployment could handle many combinations of spectrum and technologies spanning multiple carriers.
  5. Friends and Family.  I like to call CTIA a family reunion.  Pretty much the same folks assemble every year with one-third of the attendees sporting a new business card.  Also like a reunion, there are always a couple of newcomers trying to get the lay of the land, and the occasional crazy uncle!

I hope to see you at CTIA 2011.  Don’t forget to catch my panel on cell tower asset management Tuesday afternoon with SiteMaster, Siterra, and Core Development Services.