We've just been seated in an extraordinarily large keynote hall -- as big as anything you'll find even at CES -- for CTIA 2010's first day keynote session featuring AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega and J. K. Shin, president of Samsung's mobile business. It should be an interesting shindig, so keep it locked!
10:54AM And he's off the stage!
10:53AM It'll be available worldwide -- including the US -- this year!
10:53AM 4 inch Super AMOLED screen, 1GHz processor, that just-announced content ecosystem. Good stuff.
10:52AM The Galaxy S!
10:52AM "Expect to hear more [on our content partners] in the very near future."
10:52AM They'll deliver a "complete ecosystem" to bring full movies and shows, optimized to take advantage of Super AMOLED displays (we're not exactly sure how they'll be optimized, though). Direct downloads to Samsung phones. "This is a remarkable achievement for the mobile industry in the United States."
10:51AM Now we're onto the third tenet of Smart Life: content. "We're ready to deliver... through premium content alliance."
10:49AM Now we're talking about Sammy's new 1GHz mobile processor with wild 3D graphics performance.
10:48AM 20 percent brighter, better colors, 80 percent less reflective, better battery life. "Seeing truly is believing."
10:47AM Now he's pimping Super AMOLED, Samsung's new vibrant screen tech unveiled at MWC.
10:46AM "But this is not enough." Smartphones needs to deliver in three critical areas: screen, speed, and content.
10:45AM "For many years, hardware was the foundation of mobile phone differentiation."
10:44AM We're seeing a bunch of video testimonials from everyday users talking about what they want from a smartphone. "I wish it could get me girls' numbers, automatically." Keep dreaming, dude!
10:43AM Introducing Smart Life! It's not a platform so much as it is a philosophy, it seems, which matches what we'd heard yesterday.
10:42AM "Americans want to watch high-quality video on their phones. They want easy multitasking on their handsets."
10:38AM "That's why Samsung is committed to bringing a good smartphone experience to everyone in the world."
10:38AM More than a quarter of handsets sold in 2013 will be smartphones. That's impressive, but it also underscores that they've got a ways to go.
10:37AM "The future is the smartphone." We could've figured on that, Mr. Shin!
10:36AM "Globally, our mobile business grew 16 percent in 2009, and we are also number one in the United States. We are very proud of our achievement -- but in this dynamic and ever-changing industry, we have no time to focus on the past."
10:35AM Ooh, here comes J. K. Shin!
10:35AM And he's off the stage -- Largent's back once again.
10:33AM "Within an hour of the [Chile] earthquake, over 200 employees were helping" to restore and maintain service.
10:32AM "We are educating over 163,000 children." That's a pretty bold statement for a private company!
10:32AM Now we're watching a video about how Telefonica's working to eradicate child labor in Latin America through its Proniño program.
10:29AM Urdangarin is talking about engagement with the community, sustainability, and corporate responsibility.
10:27AM "What makes me proud to be a member of this company is our soul."
10:23AM Mobile money, access to banking, "enormous potential in developing countries" for people with no access to the traditional banking system. Again, this message is straight out of Nokia's keynote at CES.
10:20AM There's apparently a Telefonica-sponsored mobile apps show in Rio this week. Count us in!
10:15AM The developing world figures prominently into Telefonica's plans -- we heard a similar message from Nokia back at CES.
10:12AM Ah, more than half of Telefonica's shares are held by US investors. Maybe that's why they're here! (Never mind the fact that they do offer a number of services in the US through subsidiaries.)
10:11AM Talking about Telefonica's huge growth over the past 25 years; expansion into wireless, broadband, and new markets. We've got to admit, Telefonica is not the first company we'd expect to see keynoting at CTIA.
10:07AM "Ladies and gentlemen, I work for a company that leads by the spirit of progress."
10:05AM Now Urdangarin's settling in for his keynote address. There's a video playing summarizing Telefonica's awesomeness.
10:04AM Here's a factoid you probably didn't see coming: Urdangarin won two Olympic medals for handball.
10:03AM Telefonica International USA chairman Iñaki Urdangarin is on the stage with Largent. They're announcing the extension of shortcodes to Latin American carriers... interesting.
10:01AM And that's it -- Stephenson's off the stage. Largent is back in action.
9:59AM He's talking up some of his favorite software initiatives, including AT&T WorkBench that was announced earlier today, allowing companies to securely deploy enterprise services to iPhones. We're curious to see exactly how this works.
9:55AM Funny gaffe: Stephenson refers to AT&T's "GM-based wireless network." He obviously meant GSM... either that, or his network is trying to sell off Hummer to Chinese investors. One of the two.
9:54AM The overarching message here mirrors de la Vega's, as you might expect: mobile broadband use is huge, it's getting bigger, and we need to stay on top of it.
9:50AM "Historically, there's been a very light regulatory touch on this industry." Clearly, Stephenson would like to see the government to continue its hands-off strategy with mobile internet.
9:50AM Referring to his company's archrivals: "Though we vigorously compete day in and day out, we depend on each other."
9:48AM "Here we are in this decade, we're combining the internet and the mobile phone. The mobile internet is revolutionizing how business gets done. It's revolutionizing how we socialize, get news."
9:47AM Here comes Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T (and Mr. de la Vega's boss).
9:46AM Largent's back on. He's excited about the 500MHz of spectrum the FCC's looking to bring online (but secretly, we know he'd prefer 800MHz).
9:46AM "This is our moment, let's seize it."
9:43AM Of the 500MHz he's looking to free up, 300MHz would be available within three years.
9:43AM You can probably guess Genachowski's message by now: wireless broadband is awesome, it's important, and he's pushing a strategy for keeping the US in the lead. Naturally, relieving the so-called spectrum crunch is a key part of that.
9:42AM FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's visage is joining us via a quick video message -- he says he couldn't be on-hand because he's got to deal with this whole National Broadband Plan thing back in Washington.
9:41AM "That's why our need for spectrum has never been greater."
9:41AM Text messaging traffic grew 50 percent year-over-year, while picture messaging traffic grew 130 percent. Wow.
9:39AM We're taking a look at the CTIA's new TV ad. It's pretty high-energy with the tagline "Freedom is wireless."
9:37AM "We're looking forward to... a great year under [de la Vega's] guidance."
9:36AM "I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your chairman this year." Ralph's leaving the stage and introducing Steve Largent, CTIA's president. Here he comes!
9:34AM He's also encouraging "application efficiencies." In other words, consume less data, something that RIM's really been pimping about its ecosystem recently.
9:32AM He says WiFi and femtocells help alleviate part of the problem. We'd agree, particularly with the femtocell part... let's see a nationwide 3G MicroCell launch, AT&T!
9:30AM "We applaud the FCC proposal to free up 500MHz of spectrum... but it'll take years." And he still doesn't think 500MHz is enough -- as we've heard before, the CTIA wants 800MHz.
9:29AM There's a graph on the screen that contains the ominous phrase "capacity exhausted." That scares us. De la Vega says he doesn't know when that moment will arrive, but it'll happen unless we make some aggressive spectrum moves.
9:27AM "This brings us to the imperatives facing our industry, and what we can do to meet the demand." Here comes the FCC tie-in!
9:26AM Wow, Cisco is projecting that we'll consume 3.6 million terabytes of mobile data per month in 2014, compared with 90,000 terabytes last year. That's a lot of wireless torrents.
9:25AM There's a circle of life sort of thing on the slide deck right now... we *think* it's showing that consumers use more apps, which causes increased data consumption, which drives need for spectrum, which spurs the development of new network technologies, and the cycle begins anew. Very zen.
9:23AM Turns out the US has the most mobile workers, too. Mobile, mobile, mobile -- no wonder the FCC's so keen on sweeping up spectrum. "But there's no guarantee it'll stay that way... which brings me to the second part of my discussion."
9:22AM Man, he just mentioned Sprint's partnership with GetJar. Pretty impressive how he's straddling his dual roles here without playing favorites. We're sure the CTIA asked him as much.
9:20AM Hey, what do you know -- Americans are leading the world in mobile app downloads, too. We're awesome at consuming stuff!
9:19AM US is expected to spend as much as a third of the world's LTE money this year, despite the fact that we've got just 7 percent of the world's subscribers. Looking at this from the CTIA chairman angle, he's pretty stoked about the promise of LTE here -- interesting considering that Verizon's going to beat AT&T by a little bit and Sprint's taking a decidedly different path.
9:17AM "To maintain a vibrant mobile broadband network... a tremendous investment is required." US carriers are expected to spend $45 billion to upgrade networks in 2010, including investments both in wireless and backhaul.
9:16AM "US leads in most advanced 3G networks -- HSPA and EV-DO -- with 33 percent of global subscribers." Never thought we'd hear AT&T's CEO talking up EV-DO, either, but bear in mind that this dude is carrying the torch as CTIA's chairman here just as much as he's serving the role of AT&T's boss. He's got to play the role of the diplomat, particularly when he's making the case for spectrum reclamation.
9:14AM "The good news is that the US has built a mobile infrastructure" that's capable of delivering on the mobile broadband promise. Pretty wild to hear Ralph de la Vega touting how robust this country's data airwaves are, but we get what he's saying.
9:13AM "We're doing some pretty remarkable things today, and tomorrow's going to be even better. We're transforming whole industries."
9:12AM Starting with a look at how mobile broadband is "transforming" healthcare, public safety, and transportation.
9:11AM He's going to show us how the US is leading the world in mobile broadband. We're pretty sure we've heard this message before from him -- gobs of data consumption in these parts.
9:10AM He's talking about the power of mobile broadband -- we think we know where this is going. Spectrum, spectrum, spectrum.
9:09AM Ralph takes the stage.
9:09AM "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome CTIA chairman of the board and AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega!"
9:07AM For some reason, the music is getting exponentially louder. If we stop reporting, it's because our eardrums have been shredded and we can't hear the speakers. Don't say we didn't warn you!
9:05AM Lights are dimming -- we think we're about to get underway.
9:00AM Now we're probably hovering around 80 percent full. A lot of interest in AT&T and Samsung, it seems... go figure!
8:54AM Despite its extraordinary size, the theater here at Las Vegas Convention Center's North Hall is filling in nicely -- we'd estimate it's about 50 to 60 percent full right now, and plenty more peeps are still filing in.