McNealy, Chambers and Powell Address CTIA

Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell kicked off the CTIA Wireless show in Atlanta on Monday with separate keynote

March 23, 2004

3 Min Read
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Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell kicked off the CTIA Wireless show in Atlanta on Monday with separate keynote addresses.

McNealy held the most news in his pocket, announcing several new partnerships focused on delivering Java-based technology to allow business travelers to work wirelessly. For instance, Sun is working with Research In Motion to extend mobile Java Web services technology to the more than 1 million customers using RIM's BlackBerry device, he said.

Sun and AT&T Wireless also are partnering to offer new mobile services via an EDGE-enabled Java Desktop System beginning in fall 2004, he added.

"The Java-powered environment is now outshipping the Microsoft world," McNealy told CTIA attendees during his keynote. "Deal with it."

Along with Pronto Networks, Sun also unveiled an end-to-end appliance that enables operators to roll out a midsize public hot-spot network licensed for 25, 50 or 100 hot spots. The appliance, to be distributed via Sun-authorized iForce channel partners, is designed to reduce the cost and complexity of setting up a public hot-spot network.McNealy said Sun is also expanding its service offerings by launching the Network Equipment Provider (NEP) Lifecycle Services Program. The set of service offerings would be offered with systems integrator partners in the telecommunications industry, including Pinnacle Data Systems.

Cisco's Chambers made no major announcements during his CTIA keynote, and he barely mentioned Cisco's $39 million cash bid to acquire Riverhead Networks, which was announced Monday. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company develops security technology aimed at protecting against distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks and other security threats in enterprise and service provider networks.

Chambers focused his comments on Cisco's approach to IP mobility. "I think we're still thinking too conservatively about what mobility and wireless means to our future," he told CTIA attendees. The future means a seamless integration of applications, including voice and data, but Cisco and other market players must think more about how this architecture is going to come together and how people are going to use it, he said.

Networks will evolve from separate, proprietary platforms to a more common standards-based approach that eventually will focus on changing vertical business processes to meet the benefits of new wireless technologies, Chambers said. "Productivity only changes if you change processes," he said.

FCC chief Powell, meanwhile, described the wireless business sector's future as bright. So far, the wireless market has fostered a competitive environment, with players working to resolve issues with as little government intervention as possible, he said."We should let wireless companies react to the wishes of the consumers and let the government be available for the more acute problems, the more significant problems," Powell said.

Consumers are excited but still confused by fast-changing, complex technology, Powell added. "They don't want to buy the pipe," he said. "They are going to buy what you can do with it."

Powell added that data is the real end game for wireless--not just an incremental add-on, as it's marketed right now. He also said the government is working to offer, among other things, more spectrum space to allow more creativity and competition in the wireless market.

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