Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Ctia'

Wednesday, June 18

Good Idea of the Day

By Brad

Wireless organization CTIA wants to focus on getting more spectrum to the market for mobile broadband. As Phil Goldstein of FierceWireless reports:

CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker wants to create a spectrum “report card” that would assess how efficiently government agencies are using their spectrum. That’s one piece of a broader agenda she has for getting more airwaves for mobile broadband use beyond this fall’s coming auction of AWS-3 spectrum and next year’s incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. 

Baker, who became the head of the wireless industry’s trade association and lobbying arm earlier this month, said a report card would “keep people’s feet to the fire to make sure we’re utilizing the spectrum, [and that] we’re not warehousing it.” She said that CTIA is going to continue to work towards the goal President Obama laid out in 2010 to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use by 2020. Baker said CTIA might push to go beyond that but wants to hit that milestone.

Given the popularity smartphones and tablets — and the mobile broadband that power them — making sure the single-largest holder of the nation’s airwaves, the government, is using those airwaves most efficiently is a critical step in keeping the mobile broadband economy booming.


Friday, March 08

CTIA’s Quick Facts About Wireless

By Brad

The folks at CTIA have put together a handy list of 50 wireless facts. Among them:

The wireless industry directly/indirectly employs more than 3.8 million Americans, which accounts for 2.6% of all U.S. employment. In addition, wireless employees are paid 65% higher than the national average for other workers.

Total private sector jobs fell by 5.3 million between April 2007 and June 2011, but the U.S. wireless industry added almost 1.6 million new jobs in the same time period.

As of December 2011, 34 percent of American households were wireless-only.

Despite having less than 5 percent of the world’s population and less than 6 percent of the world’s total wireless subscribers, the U.S. has more than half of global LTE subscribers.

There’s lots more where those came from. Head on over to CTIA and dig in.

Thursday, June 14

A Reminder About Spectrum

By Brad

President Obama’s broadband deployment Executive Order (see below), received praise from CTIA, the nation’s largest wireless industry group, but as John Eggerton of Multichannel News reports, that praise came with a specific message:

“CTIA and the wireless industry are pleased to see the president recognizes that more Americans continue to rely on their mobile devices for anytime and anywhere access, including the Internet,” said CTIA president Steve Largent in a statement. “At the same time, we hope the president and his administration remain focused on getting more spectrum for the U.S. wireless industry so our members may handle the significant data usage of Americans now and in the future.”

With mobile broadband being rapidly adopted by America’s underserved communities, CTIA is right to point out that efforts to close the digital divide should focus both on wired networks and providing the airwaves mobile broadband needs to operate and grow.

Monday, May 21

Spectrum & Innovation

By Brad

In an opinion piece for Politico, CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent makes the case that more spectrum for wireless will mean an explosion of innovation:

The world leadership we claim has been built over time, and today the U.S. is home to more than 69 percent of the global LTE subscribers, even though we have less than 5 percent of the world’s population and less than 6 percent of the world’s wireless subscribers.

Some of the most advanced wireless devices were launched first in the U.S., including Apple’s iPhones and iPads, Samsung’s Galaxys, Motorola’s Droids and HTC’s EVO 4G. In addition, Americans may choose from more than 630 unique devices while, by comparison, those in the United Kingdom have fewer than 150 choices. But all this is at risk if the industry is allowed to become even more spectrum constrained.

In response to Largent’s piece, our own Bruce Mehlman left this comment:

American consumers are benefiting from increasingly robust nationwide wireless data services including mobile apps, real-time social media and streaming video. With new wireless subscribers signing up every day and more and more spectrum hungry services snacking on the available airwaves, of course there is less spectrum to go around. Saying that the spectrum crisis isn’t real is an excuse for inaction.

Friday, May 04

Revolving Around Spectrum

By Brad

In anticipation of next week’s CTIA convention in New Orleans, Sinead Carew of Reuters (via the India Times) has a good preview of what is sure to dominate the discussion:

Complaints about the shortage of wireless frequencies and a need for U.S. mobile carriers to consolidate will dominate the industry’s largest annual gathering next week, but regulatory uncertainty may leave the sector powerless to deal with its most pressing issues anytime soon.

U.S. wireless operators argue that too many competitors are fighting over a mature market and that they urgently need more spectrum to cope with increasing demand for bandwidth-hungry services such as video and social networking.

But experts say regulators’ clear reluctance to approve big acquisitions has paralyzed any operators that could otherwise have been keen on combining forces this year.

The full article is worth checking out.

Monday, April 30

CTIA on the Spectrum Crunch

By Brad

Last week, an article in the New York Times seemed to question whether America was really facing what the FCC itself has called a “spectrum crunch.” In response to the article, CTIA’s Jot Carpenter brings up two important points:

1. If there is a viable solution allowing the industry to address the “hockey stick” growth it is experiencing in terms of usage, users and uses, that is more cost efficient and effective than spending billions of dollars that our members have bid for spectrum in previous auctions, wouldn’t our carriers use it?

2. If the spectrum crisis is fabricated, then is there a worldwide conspiracy to perpetuate it? Because around the globe, other countries have moved or are moving to make additional spectrum available for commercial use. So either everyone’s in on it, or — and this is much, much more likely — the whole world is going mobile and other countries are seeing the same demands as the U.S.

For another take, see this post from Richard Bennett of the Information Files.

Monday, October 17

Voices From CTIA, Part 3


During this year’s CTIA Enterprise and Applications Conference, we asked attendees stopping by our booth to give us their thoughts on broadband and the importance of being connected. Here’s some of what they had to say.

Friday, October 14

Voices From CTIA, Part 2


During this year’s CTIA Enterprise and Applications Conference, we asked attendees stopping by our booth to give us their thoughts on broadband and the importance of being connected. Here’s some of what they had to say.


Thursday, October 13

Voices From CTIA, Part 1


During this year’s CTIA Enterprise and Applications Conference, we asked attendees stopping by our booth to give us their thoughts on broadband and the importance of being connected. Here’s some of what they had to say.

Tuesday, October 11

Today’s Fact of the Day…

By Brad

...comes courtesy of CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent who, in opening this morning’s keynote, told the audience that our nation now has more wireless subscriber connections than people.

In fact, according to a new report from the organization, there are 327.6 million wireless connections in America — which means, with 315.5 million people, our wireless penetration is now 103.9%.

It’s a mobile world.

CTIA Day One: The Kickoff Keynote

By Brad

The keynote for this year’s CTIA Enterprise and Applications Conference featured CEOs from the top three wireless companies: Dan Hesse of Sprint, Ralph de la Vega of AT&T, and Dan Mead of Verizon.

Despite some light ribbing, the tone was one of collaboration, with all three CEOs rightly noting that much of the industry’s impressive growth was due to working with each other and with the various innovators up and down the industry chain.

Taking the stage first, Sprint’s Dan Hesse focused heavily on sustainability, running down an extensive list of efforts his company was currently doing to be more environmentally and socially responsible (Sprint’s efforts in helping to curb distraction while driving were impressive, and gave Hesse a set-up for a funny story about his own efforts to keep his teenage son safe behind the wheel).

Next up was AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega, whose main message was innovation — both within the company and by encouraging it throughout the industry. Highlighting the company’s Foundry program, an $80 million commitment to encourage developers of mobile applications, de la Vega was genuinely excited to announce the initiative already had over 100 projects in development.

Closing out the keynote, Verizon’s Dan Mead told the audience, “Even though the wireless industry is fiercely competitive, it’s a success due to mutual cooperation.” He then touched on government regulation, pointing at an ongoing light touch from regulators as critical to maintaining the industry’s impressive growth and, striking the cooperation chord again, said that the industry must work with the government to keep wireless moving, stating, “We have a responsibility to make sure we operate with the highest integrity.”

Live From CTIA

By Brad

We’re spending the week at the CTIA Enterprise and Applications Conference in San Diego. If you’re in the area, stop by booth 120 to say hello and learn more about IIA.

Tuesday, June 28

State of Wireless

By Brad

The FCC has released its annual “Wireless Competition” report, which includes data up to 2009, and just like last year’s report the commission has hedged on whether America’s wireless industry remains competitive. As Amy Schatz of the Wall Street Journal reports:

The FCC stayed neutral on whether the industry is competitive. Before 2010, the FCC found that the wireless phone market was “effectively competitive” for several years.

The agency said that it found that “the mobile wireless ecosystem is sufficiently complex and multi-faceted that it would not be meaningful to try to make a single, all inclusive finding regarding effective competition that adequately encompasses the level of competition in the various interrelated segments, types of services, and vast geographic areas of the mobile wireless industry.”

Schatz also quotes a statement from Verizon, who felt the FCC “took a too narrow view of competition”:

“Our competitors aren’t just other wireless-network providers, as this report seems to indicate. Today wireless competition comes from cable companies; Wi-Fi and satellite service providers; handset, tablet and laptop manufacturers; operating system and application designers, and many others,” Verizon said.

The report’s findings also prompted a response from CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent:

Even though I haven’t had a chance to read the entire FCC’s 15th Annual Mobile Wireless Competition Report that was released late this afternoon, from a cursory review, it appears it reflects the tremendous innovation and investment that occurred in the wireless ecosystem in 2009. While CTIA again wishes they would have concluded effective competition existed in 2009, consumers clearly enjoyed more advanced handsets, an ever-expanding range of services and applications and more robust networks, even as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that prices decreased. Additionally, the mobile ecosystem expanded into other areas including mHealth, mobile education, intelligent transportation and smart grids. The report showed a multitude of facts and figures that proved the wireless ecosystem continues to work for America and Americans.

The full report (PDF) is available on the FCC website.

Monday, December 13

Leave Wireless Alone

By Brad

Next Tuesday, the FCC will likely vote on Chairman Genachowski’s net neutrality proposal. While the full proposal has yet to be released (a sticking point with Republican Commissioner Meredith A. Baker), in announcing the proposal Genachowski described the particulars as being relatively light-touch when it came to regulations on wireless. But with specific details still a relative mystery,  wireless association CTIA is preemptively warning that strict regulations on wireless could lead to trouble. As Multichannel News reports:

CTIA president Steve Largent… said Friday that if the FCC tried to impose more than the transparency and non-blocking items now applied in the draft order, his association would oppose it and would not rule out taking it to court.

Largent said the issue was “a moving ball as we speak,” and would continue to change and evolve. To that end, he also said the group had meetings scheduled with commissioner Mignon Clyburn and were looking to schedule one Monday or Tuesday to talk about the issue. Both have suggested that they might want to apply more of the net neutrality regs to wireless broadband as they work on edits and input to the draft in advance of the vote.

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