Savor this spring session of CTIA 2013, because it will be the last. In Las Vegas' Venetian Ballroom, moguls of the wireless world took the stage for the show's opening keynote to discuss the expansion of wireless service in North America, the future of the CTIA shows and women in wireless.
After the show closes on Thursday, the Wireless Association will merge the spring and fall CTIA shows to form one session making 2014's show a so-called "super show."
CTIA as holiday launchpad
Like this year's show, the next CTIA session will also be in Las Vegas. Taking place from September 9 -11, the time has been chosen to give manufacturers the chance to launch products into the holiday season.
This should help CTIA compete with the other Vegas tech show CES, which occurs in January, after the holiday feeding frenzy.
A subdued send off
The last opening keynote of the CTIA spring show began on an appropriately dour note. CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent began his address with condolences to the victims of Oklahoma's deadly tornadoes.
Largent, a former NFL player, is an Oklahoma native himself and served his state in the U.S. House of Representatives before shifting to a career in the wireless industry. He praised the work of emergency workers in his home state, and urged the audience to text a donation to the Red Cross.
Women in wireless
Largent then introduced Acting FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. The first woman to hold this position, Clyburn was still in her first week as commissioner when she took the stage on Tuesday.
Clyburn was followed by Mary Dilon, president of U.S. Cellular and CTIA chairwoman. She stressed the need to encourage young women to enter the wireless industry, joking that the CTIA restrooms are the "only place where the men are waiting and the women just waltz right in."
Despite an overall gender imbalance in the industry, the CTIA opening keynote was able to muster an impressive all-female panel of wireless moguls. Executives from Qualcomm, Target and more joined Dilon for a discussion of their own career paths, and their vision for the industries future.