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Current Topics In Mobile Computing

CTIA's Wireless 2000 Conference In New Orleans

From February 28 to March 1, New Orleans was the host to hundreds of high-tech firms and thousands of industry players gathered for the years largest industry trade.  Organized by Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) with 732 exhibitors, educational seminars and keynote speakers representing dot-com companies, phone service companies and hardware manufacturers.  The emerging theme was  “Complete Solutions.”


February 28

  • Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Gates kicked off the show with a speech on how wireless and Internet technologies will affect consumers and businesses.

“The idea now that we can take the voice and data worlds, and let people access stuff anywhere they want to go, that’s really an incredible opportunity,” said Mr. Gates promising to empower wireless devices with software and platforms.

February 29

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.’s  COO,  Ed Zander,  used his keynote to announce the Company’s wireless Initiatives (see announcements) and stressed the importance of bandwidth. He said, users shouldn’t have to worry about what operating system runs their device – “It should just work.”
  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Web retailer Amazon.com, spoke on the challenge of merging wireless with e-commerce. He expects Amazon.com’s revenues from wireless to be 100 percent in the future.
  • Alain Rossan, chairman and CEO of Phone.com and the innovator of WAP, first,  defended the slow standards process of WAP, and then  explained why Phone.com has purchased three companies in the last 90 days – “You need to build a map and then you need to fill it.”
  • U.S. West CEO Sol Trujillo closed the keynote session with mild comments about the industry.

March 1

  • Steve Case, the head of American Online Inc., focused on the need to forge strong partnerships.  “It’s a new world, and it requires a new spirit of partnership,” said the CEO. Consistent with his message, AOL announced six partnerships (see announcements).


  • The second version of Microsoft’s MSN Mobile, an Internet portal designed specially for wireless devices
  • Sun Microsystems Inc.’s new initiatives:
    • Palm Computing plans to use Sun’s iPlanet services and Star Office portal to give customers wireless access to corporate applications via Palm VII
    • Co-brand service with Lucent Technologies Inc. to enable mobile workers to gain access to corporate intranets and e-mail systems from any mobile or landline phone
    • The Intuitive Applications Access solution for service providers will be marketed to wireless carriers
  • Bell Atlantic Mobile and Amazon.com agreement that will enable users of Bell’s digital wireless phones to shop electronically
  • AOL and Motorola Inc. to create a co-branded wireless Web device that let’s customers use a mobile version of AOL’s Instant Messenger chat service.
  • AOL and Research in Motion Ltd. will offer AOL e-mail and its Instant Messaging Service on its Blackberry two-way pager.
  • InfoWare Wireless Inc. and Nokia Corp.  will co-develop and market various wireless applications for Web-enabled wireless phones and devices.
  • 724 Solutions Inc. and Ericsson will work together to roll out a set of wireless banking services.


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