CTIA 2013 Wrap Up

Another CTIA Show has come and gone. The booths are boxed up, the speakers have gone home, and the Sands Expo & Convention Center is no doubt preparing for the next large event. But what an event it was! Tens of thousands of wireless industry veterans mingling with each other and checking out the latest technology, software, accessories, and ideas in the heart of Las Vegas—that’s what CTIA is all about. 

The Keynotes of CTIA 2013

“If you’re not mobile, you’re antiquated,” said Ashton Kutcher in the opening lines of his Keynote, “A Campfire Chat with Ashton Kutcher.” Kicking off Day 3 of CTIA 2013, the young actor/investor’s keynote was perhaps the most anticipated of the show, thanks to his celebrity and his upcoming role as Steve Jobs in the film “jOBS.” He shared advice for App Discovery (but not which apps to invest in) and lamented the downside of mobile recording technology—that “people spend so much time on capturing the moment that they forget to be in it.”

He went on to emphasize the power of social media. In previous generations, religion often served as a common ground for the building of relationships—an immediate way to tell if your beliefs, morals, and priorities were compatible with someone else’s. In that sense, he said, “the new religion is Facebook,” where strangers cease being strangers, and begin to be recognized as friends of friends. And although commercialization and depersonalization threaten the heart of social media (and have already soured Twitter, in his opinion), Kutcher predicted that Twitter and the rest will be redeemed in time.

Jennifer Lopez was another crowd favorite, as expected. The entertainer and businesswoman addressed “Mobile and the Fastest Growing Consumer Segment: The Modern Latino” in her keynote session, highlighting the enormous purchasing power of the Latino population and their part in the continuing growth of the United States. “It’s kinda hard to ignore us,” she said.

Steve Largent, an Oklahoma native and the President/CEO of CTIA, took some time to speak about the disastrous tornadoes that struck his home state just before the conference began. He encouraged attendees to contribute to the Red Cross to help bring relief and aid to the victims of the devastation.

The Show Floor at CTIA 2013

The Keynotes are a perk of CTIA Shows, but the show floor is the main attraction—hundreds of exhibitors demonstrating the latest solutions, ranging from novel inventions (like The Flipper, a reversible USB adaptor) to tried-and-true solutions for nearly every niche in the wireless industry. A flood of executives, entrepreneurs, analysts, media, and more took to the floor with enthusiasm as soon as the doors opened each day, and many of them lingered until the last minute. There was certainly plenty to see and experience—three days just didn’t seem like enough!

Our own booth was located in the brand new iZone, which focused on Apple-compatible products and mobile applications and software. It was the perfect opportunity to premiere ROSS 6, which will introduce not only Mac compatibility, but mobile compatibility on both iOS and Android operating systems. We got to know a lot of retailers who were in search of a new retail management system—they came to CTIA to find an alternative, because the larger POS software companies were too inflexible and couldn’t provide the solutions they needed. We were thrilled to put the ROSS 6 demo in their hands and see them getting excited about it! You’ll start to find more details about ROSS 6 here on the website as we prepare to launch it this summer.

Of course, there was so much going on at CTIA 2013 that it would be impossible to summarize it all in one article. There was a lot of focus on Wi-Fi hotspots and small cells, discussions on the applications of mobile technology in emergency relief and major crises (especially relevant after the Oklahoma tornadoes), and the continuing push to go even greener and minimize carbon footprints in the industry. And that’s just a small sampling of the enlightening ideas that were being shared—I think we all walked away with more knowledge, and a better idea of what changes to expect in the industry over the coming years.

You should also know that the CTIA Show as we know it is evolving—in 2014 it will return as the “CTIA Super Mobility Week” and it promises to be quite an event. We’re looking forward to it, and we hope to see you there!

To view more photos from CTIA 2013, check out our Facebook page!


Brent Urmey is an avid reader and writer on a variety of subjects, including social media, SEO, the Wireless industry, and life in Lancaster County, PA. He is a graduate of Drexel University and a survivor of the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. You can connect with Brent on Google +.