Since the cellular buildout boom of the late 90′s, Berkeley Varitronics Systems has been exhibiting at nearly every CTIA expo. 2013 is no different for BVS but it’s hard to miss the ever increasing i-ification of cellular & mobile technology every year. For every antenna alignment company, there are 20 companies offering wireless payment systems for your iPhone and for every test receiver company there are 50 companies offering cool cases to protect your smartphone. In fact, there’s a whole zone of the expo devoted to all things smartphone called the…you guessed it – i zone.
Since everyone loves a top 5 list, here’s a few completely unscientific, BVS-centric top 5 lists I’ve garnered from this year’s CTIA:
TOP 5 TERMS MENTIONED AT THE BVS BOOTH
- DAS (Distributed Antenna System)
- LTE Verification
- Signal Strength
- Modulation (of all kinds)
- Direction Finding (interference sources & cell phones too)
TOP 5 POPULAR PRODUCTS AT THE BVS BOOTH
- Squid-PRO M2M Installation Tool
- Tortoise Dual Band Stimulus Transmitter
- Gazelle Drive Study Receiver
- YellowFin LTE Analyzer
- PocketHound Covert Cell Phone Detector
CTIA 2013 felt more like a response to mass market adoption of smartphones and the tech vacuum created by wireless behemoths like the iPhone.
The top 5 terms match well with 4 of the 5 existing BVS products. A new product is near release which will address the remaining term. This is good news for BVS but maybe not so much for CTIA and the industry at large. Much like the invasion of consumer cell phone cases, screen protectors and assorted chotchkes, the industry seems consumed with post buildout tools and not much next generation (5G) technology. That’s OK because it’s always advisable to work out the kinks before proceeding onto the next new thing but past CTIA shows always stood out as harbingers of things to come. CTIA 2013 felt more like a response to mass market adoption of smartphones and the tech vacuum created by wireless behemoths like the iPhone.
THE FUTURE OF CTIA
In recent years, every show winds down with the usual murmorings of CTIA downscaling and/or combining with other shows next year but for some reason it’s more believable this year. There was a fair amount of foot traffic and ambient noise by the exhibit hall’s single eastern entrance but our booth was set far back near the other side. All of our neighboring booths also couldn’t help but notice that the attendee traffic never quite reached our neighborhood. This was no fault of ours or nearby exhibitors but rather just the way CTIA attendees move as a single-minded entity. Without that critical mass of attendees bursting at the starting line seams, they’ll never get to the back of the show. And that appears to be what happened at this year’s show. Past shows have always led to an eventual onslaught of attendees no matter how far back our booth might be hidden away.
The most frequently asked question at the BVS booth is always “Who buys your products?” but we never have a good answer for that because we have such a wide variety of products to match our customer base. It’s everyone from engineers to consultants to carriers and developers of all sizes. We will continue to deliver test transmitters and receivers beyond 5G but will also deliver new product categories for emerging technologies.
Is CTIA overgrown past its prime or has BVS finally outgrown it? Find out next year.