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May 25, 2013

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

We've just returned from this year's big Spring 2013 CTIA conference and trade show, marking at least a decade of doing so, dating back to 2003. We've watched CTIA grow up and become a major mobile event, but this year we may be witnessing a leveling off, which suggests two things: one, that mobility may now be arriving at an age of acceptance and that the wireless market itself from a wireless infrastructure and telecom perspective may be maturing. Why do we say this?

Well, though the event pulled in somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 attendees, the number of relevant exhibitors seem to have declined while the number of trivial or non-essential exhibitors seem to have exploded. We can't even begin to count the number of companies that sell protective mobile device gear (right, smartphone and tablet cases and in-car phone holders, for example) that had substantial booths at CTIA.

Even so, we managed to meet up with, at last count, at least 30 vendors during our time there this week, and we believe we uncovered a few important gems well worth noting. And we'll be doing so next week.

Unlike ourselves, our colleague Paula Bernier actually managed to pen several very interesting articles during her equally busy time there. Let's get one that was interesting for a number of reasons out of the way first. This year, for the first time, CTIA tried hard to involve several celebrities as keynoters - if Ashton Kutcher and J-Lo ring a bell, yes they were there keynoting. While we did not pay any attention to Kutcher, Paula did uncover what Jennifer Lopez was up to, and her focus was on the launch of VIVAmovil, a new effort to target Latino shoppers.

More traditionally for CTIA, Paula also unearthed telecom giant Ericsson's efforts to advance its carrier-grade Wi-Fi, LTE and small cell offerings and a new deal it has with Verizon. BeQuick Software unveiled two new capabilities - real-time data session control and the BYOD Portal that addresses the MVNO space. Radisys was also on hand, and Paula had a conversation with Manish Singh, Radisys's chief technology officer, to talk about Radisys's ideas on small cells, VoLTE and the idea of telecom clouds.

Another colleague, Carl Ford, managed to hook up with Redline Communications, a company focused on delivering and expanding its abilities to deliver over a wide range of frequencies with Redline's Universal Wireless Transport (UWT). UWT is a ground-up reengineering of Redline’s backhaul networking technologies.

Finally, another of our colleagues, Peter Bernstein, found the time to take a deep dive into a new CTIA-driven survey on cyber security, which uncovered that although consumers know their mobile devices are vulnerable to cyber threats, they don't yet do much to protect themselves. We may be preaching to the choir here on this issue, but this lack of user security remains a huge threat in and of itself.

That last issue on security is the reason why mobile security companies stay in business. A recent example is SecureAuth, which just released SecureAuth IdP 7.0. IdP v7 is a next-generation release that focuses on easing the pain of enterprise BYOD security. Meanwhile, as mobile banking explodes and more users take advantage of it, cyber criminals continue to look to mobile devices in order to gain access to users’ critical data, such as banking records. Which explains why AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield VPN App has hit 10 billion downloads and provides a valuable service to mobile users.

Finally, SAP this week announced a new partnership with Mocana, a company that provides a comprehensive mobile application security platform. SAP will resell Mocana's platform combined with additional SAP technology - the new offering is dubbed SAP Mobile App Protection.

We hope everyone has an awesome Memorial Day long weekend!

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