CTIA Wireless 2011 in Orlando was a hotbed of speculation about how the at&t – T-Mobile merger will affect the U.S. mobile industry. While the ripples will be felt to every corner of the value chain, there was a lot more to talk about at the show. It was fun to watch the “4G” competitors duke it out, and measure China’s growing presence in the U.S. with a Day 2 Keynote by China Telecom and significant Chinese presence on the show floor. The “Internet of Things” became more real as Ericsson’a CEO Hans Vestberg foretold 50 billion connected devices in 2020, and solutions for connected health, proximity marketing, automotive and greentech captured attendee imaginations.
If you want a quick intro or refresher on what the Smart Grid is, listen to NOVA | PBS’s February 23 podcast “Toward a Smart Electric Grid.” This five-minute video explains in plain language how a grid that can monitor and manage itself in real time will save energy, ensure a reliable electric supply, and integrate alternative energy sources including electric cars and home solar arrays.