We’re here in San Francisco at CTIA Fall 2008 and the keynote is just starting, the president and CTO of CTIA Steve Largent is coming on stage. – “I’ve been on the job at CTIA just about 5 years now and the wireless industry is in the middle of yet another rebirth,” he said. Pioneering leaders will be on stage to discuss changes for the industry and consumers.” – “These past 12 months in wireless have been noteworthy.” It has emerged as a strong and steady economic industry. – “In the first 6 months of 2008 data revenue totaled $14.8 billion.An independent study found that America has pulled ahead of western Europe in mobile 3G adoption. More than 28-percent of US wireless subscribers have a 3G device. Wireless networks now handle more than 75 billion text messages every month, that works out to about 2.5 billion text messages a day.” Three CEOs are taking the stage: T-Mobile President and CEO Robert Dodson is here. Sprint’s Dan Hesse [sporting a rad pair of slip-ons] is here, and Verizon Wireless Lowell McAdam joins them on stage. There are many interpretations of the word open, what does it mean to you? Hesse: People are looking for an opportunity to regulate and that’s not what open is. 5-percent of the content out on the internet is optimized for wireless. In March we came out with Simply Everything which is just to encourage more data use. With Sprint Web we try to look at what a customer does when they surf and make it mroe personal and intuitive for them. Today we launched OneClick. This is for mid-tier devices, they’re like speed dials for voice. You can customize them for voicemail, email, text, or hit a tile for google search or YouTube at the touch of a button. Knock yourself out, the entire internet is yours, you won’t get an error message. That’s openness from our point of view. For developers, it means “make it easy to put my apps ony our network.” We’re working toward improving our java based tools. We still have work to do, we developed the app for the internet, we want to make it easy to port it over to you. The real breakthrough for us, although we do have a device authorization program that we employ on 3G, really it’s 4G. We’d like to do a lot less subsidizing of devices, bring your own device, the plan is that there will be embedded WiMAX chips and you can just bring it. Dodson: When we look at the consumer space, the most important piece is how to unleash all the innovation that you didn’t see in 2G. It’s trying to release all of that explosiveness. A bulk of our revenues are coming from non-voice alternatives. It’s ensuring that we do tap into the genius of the development community. It starts leveraging the relationship you’ve probably heard about with Google. We need to ensure that we not only unleash the innovation side, but really expand and shorten the time to market. The time from the start of a device until when it means something to the consumer has been too long. The focus of T-Mobile is to get that independence in a more productive way. McAdam: It comes down to what the customer is going to purchase. Carriers had to make big bets on 1G and 2G. We had to train 20,000 services and sales people to stand behind those products. As you go to openness Walled Garden or Wild West? Is any restriction you make on what can or can’t be on a device undermine the oppenness? Dodson: We can’t ever imagine what is being done. When I first looked at the first wave of innovation that was coming back, it was most productive in an environment that had stewardship and control. If it goes true Wild West that network quality experience and security goes with them. True Wild West is a poor customer experience, we saw when that happened with municipal Wi-Fi. At the end of the day it didn’t give you a good secure experiene. When you look at openness you have to do it in the context of a quality experience and ensure security and privacy and guard that with religion. The notion of walled garden sits in the past, it’s time now to unleash that innovation. Lowell, last November you said you’d open your network. When can we expect devices? Lowell: We’d have to rewind the tape, they’re actually out there right now. We’ve had 800 companies now download the specification for the device, our Web site has had 32,000 hits at this point. He has an Air Voice phone on him right now and he’s showing a router tha t will provide Wi-Fi service with a Verizon Wireless air card. “Real progress, lots of applications in the pipeline for us.” Dan, how will you navigate through this complexity? Hesse: The most returned electronic device last christmas season was a smartphone or PDA because it was too difficult to setup. There’s a lot we can do to reduce complexity.Phones are becoming swiss army knives, for the average user, this is a big issue. You can make the bill simpler with respect to additional charges. You can help the customer personalize their experience for them. There’s a lot of revenue and growth opportunity for this industry. We will teach you how to do anything you want to do, and even help you setup your device with e-mail or Bluetooth or whatever you need. Robert – Many consumers expect their devices to be open and they want to use them on any network. Why does it appear that carriers are reluctant to make that happen? Dodson: There are a number of devices on the T-Mobile network that truly are open, from Hong Kong etc. and when they come onto our network, they don’t have a good T-Mobile experience. I would tell you, if there isn’t some minimal level of stewardship you minimize the creativity that can happen in that world. There needs to be that kind of control, if you don’t safeguard that security, then we aren’t doing our job. With our @Home product, if you put any router there, you won’t get a very good experience at the end of the day. There has to be responsibility and accountability as stewards of that openness. Lowell, is open development just sleeves off the vest or is it a real opportunity to expand the market? McAdam: I think it’s not only a big issue for developers and for us selling minutes, but I think it’s going to have a significant impact on how people live their lives and manage their lives. Hesse: There are brand new segments, that’s the beauty of the industry segments today. A lot of people may not need a home phone anymore for voice in their house. I think that with respect for data, even though customers may plug in when they get home because FIOS or cable might be better, but if the device is mobile that data could become extinct. Dodson: Dodson believes that the BlackBerry e-mail platform is the best experience available today and the best that will exist for the foreseeable future. We’re clapping now. –The Next Speaker Is Executive Vice President of Yahoo’s Connected Life Division Marco Boerries— Yahoo OneConnect is launching today. He’s reminding us that the mobile opportunity of massive, and there’s more opportunity than in the personal computing market. Yahoo wants to create a mobile platform that makes development easy. It wants to create an open monetization engine to help everybody make money. Finally, it wants to create indispensable services. AT&T OneSearch launched on AT&T MediaNET last week to power the MediaNET search. It’s going to change the way people use their mobile phones. OneSearch is available on the idle screen in 18 markets in 9 languages on 20 devices for quick one click searching. One of the big things he wants to talk about today is OneConnect. It is available today for the iPhone and allows everyone to stay connected to the people they care about. It integrates all of your messaging, including instant messages, texts, and e-mails. If you’re not on an IM network you can fall back to SMS, and you can use it to share pictures. It will be available in the Apple Store after this keynote. Inside OneConnect you can keep track of social network statuses your friends have, and you can post to Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Pulse, a feautre of OneConncet, lets you tap into everything your friends are doing by aggregating feed info from all of your social networks into one view. Finally, Yahoo has incorporated a favorites screen into OneTouch for adding your friends to keep track of them from one screen. You can view pictures of your favorite friends, and hold conversations with them over IM (with emoticons, etc.) but there’s a lower left-hand button to switch to SMS, too, if the person signs offline. The interface looks really smooth and is something we’ll want to get our hands on. The address book feature of the software takes your contacts and shows which networks your friends are on on and whether they’re online or not. If you click one you can click your friends Pulse to see the events that have occurred with that person across their different social networks. Yahoo Blueprint – Yahoo’s Open Cross Platform Development Kit When we first introduced Blueprint at CES, the target platform was Yahoo Go. Blueprint is a way for developers to create Yahoo Go widgets and it has been available for a long time. Today we’re announcing a new item: you can now create standalone mobile applications with Blueprint. That means you can create an application that runs on hundreds of Java and Windows Mobile devices. A developer preview is available today and a commercial release will be available later this year. Blueprint will allow for quicker development times. It’s designed to create mobile services and is XML based. It will allow developers to create good user experiences across devices an supports location-based services, mapping controls, device optimization, and image and video controls. It supports xHTML and HTML browsers. Anyone is allowed to use Blueprint to build whatever they want and distribute however they choose.