Ina Fried

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Key U.S. Cellphone Trade Group Will Move Main Show to Fall in 2014, Discontinue Second Event

Aiming to get out from under the shadow of Mobile World Congress, the main U.S. wireless trade group plans to move its main show to September.

CTIA fall 2011

By changing the timing, the CTIA hopes to become a key event for launching wireless devices that will hit the market in the second half of the year.

In recent years, the event has struggled to avoid being an afterthought to the rival Mobile World Congress, which is held before the spring CTIA show and attracts a larger and more global audience.

CTIA officials had already aimed to create distance from the Barcelona show by moving their event from March to May, but the hope is that a fall show will offer further separation.

“The wireless industry is evolving rapidly and there is a need to have a show that centers on the entire global mobile ecosystem in a way that hasn’t existed among the current shows, which is why CTIA 2014 will be unique,” CTIA show director Rob Mesirow said in a statement. “In addition, the timing of the 2014 show will deliver the perfect stage for companies to debut mobile consumer products and services for the annual holiday buying season.”

With the change, CTIA is also doing away with a fall show that had focused in recent years on business use of cellphones, but was not seen as a major event for new products.

The move won’t start until 2014, with the group going ahead with plans this year for a spring show in Las Vegas, and a fall show in San Jose. The first of the shows under the new format, slated for Sept. 9 to Sept. 11, 2014, will be held in Las Vegas.

While it remains to be seen how well the new event does financially and from a prestige point of view, the changes garnered praise from a number of key players, including Sprint and Ericsson.

“CTIA’s decision to consolidate the wireless shows is exactly what the industry needed,” said Angel Ruiz, CEO of Ericsson Inc., said in a statement. “CTIA 2014 takes the best from the specialized shows while bringing all of the right people together at the same time and place so everyone’s time can be optimized.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald