Trend prompts CTIA repositioning

WASHINGTON, DC: The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has embraced the sector's continuing convergence by merging with the Wireless Data Forum, and by changing the 'I' in its name from 'Industry' to 'Internet'.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has embraced the sector's continuing convergence by merging with the Wireless Data Forum, and by changing the 'I' in its name from 'Industry' to 'Internet'.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has embraced the sector's continuing convergence by merging with the Wireless Data Forum, and by changing the 'I' in its name from 'Industry' to 'Internet'.

The change of moniker has been approved by the board of directors and will almost certainly be passed when it comes to a mandatory membership vote.

'What this means is that companies like Microsoft and AOL are now members of CTIA,' said Tom Wheeler, the association's president and CEO. 'The information we provide now and efforts we take for the industry will be of broader concern.'

CTIA has 140 members, both carriers and manufacturers, and includes such recognizable names as Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson.

Wheeler said that competition in the industry has accelerated the marriage of wireless and Internet capabilities, and CTIA was forced to keep pace with the trend.

'This is a very logical extension of our organization's activities and a logical extension of the industry's activities,' he said.

CTIA's biggest priority is lobbying the government and the FCC for an increased allocation of spectrum - the airwaves over which wireless data is transmitted.

'Our trade competitors, such as Japan and the UK, have about twice as much spectrum set aside for wireless Internet purposes,' Wheeler said.

'The US lags behind in terms of this asphalt for the new wireless information highway.'

Another issue CTIA will continue to address is privacy. It has been working to ensure that users have the right to consent to the use of personal information that is retrieved through the Internet, and that the rules controlling privacy are uniform across the country.



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