When you keynote one of the biggest consumer electronics trade shows of the year, it's usually a Big Deal -- and you're also plainly aware that when you step up on that stage, your audience (read: us) is fully expecting you to unveil something new and awesome. On that note, we're intrigued to hear that Verizon Communications' Ivan Seidenberg has been selected to do the honors for the opening address at CES 2011 next January. The press release -- which you can find after the break -- says that Seidenberg will "highlight [the] company's vision for its LTE 4G wireless technology," so we'd expect those LTE handsets expected early next year to factor prominently into the equation; of course, we wouldn't be surprised to see a tablet or two, either. In the wake of Ballmer's milquetoast showing at the 2010 show, the pressure's definitely on to deliver a rousing address. Oh, and Ivan? If Ralph de la Vega says "break a leg," he might mean it quite literally, so watch your step.

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VERIZON'S IVAN SEIDENBERG TO DELIVER OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE 2011 INTERNATIONAL CES

Seidenberg's CES Keynote to Highlight Company's Vision for its LTE 4G Wireless Technology

Arlington, Va., Aug. 4, 2010 – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® announced today that Verizon Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2011 International CES®. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2011 International CES, the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow, will be held January 6-9, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Ivan is a terrific leader who has positioned Verizon as a top global provider of communications, information and entertainment across a wide variety of platforms," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. "Verizon embraces innovation and its vast broadband networks touch all facets of the technology ecosystem. We are pleased to welcome Ivan to the CES stage for his debut keynote and look forward to hearing the vision for Verizon's next generation of products and services."

Ivan Seidenberg, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Verizon, has led Verizon since its inception in 2000 following the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. He has transformed the company into a premier global network company by building a nationwide wireless network, deploying high-speed fiber broadband direct to homes, and expanding its global Internet backbone network around the world. Verizon's leadership in network innovation has earned the company numerous awards, including Fortune's 2010 "World's Most Admired Companies" list at No.1 in the telecommunications sector.

Seidenberg will deliver his CES keynote address at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 6, 2011 in the Hilton Center, following a State of the CE Industry keynote address delivered by Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer will give a preshow keynote address at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, in the Las Vegas Hilton Center.

Additional 2011 CES keynote addresses will be announced in the coming months.

The 2011 International CES will feature 2,500 global technology companies unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across 15 major product categories including the latest in audio, automotive electronics, connected home technologies, digital imaging, electronic gaming, entertainment/content and more. For more information on the 2011 International CES, visit CESweb.org.

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Verizon chief tapped for CES 2011 keynote