More than 900 exhibitors are talking about why their better.

Disneyland-like trade show booths fill miles of floor space at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Industry analysts bicker over what bit outperforms another.

Wireless 2004 is buzzing with gadgets, adapters, cell phones, ring tones, cameras, games, music and, most importantly, the technology to bring it to you anywhere anytime. Carriers, providers and manufacturers are all here among their peers to talk about something you can’t touch: wireless.

Steve Largent, president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), said the leading wireless indicators are promising.

“We had 16 million subscribers in 1993, just 10 years ago. Today that number is nearly 160 million subscribers nationwide,” said Largent. One reason? Costs. He highlighted a 10 year decline in a consumer’s average monthly bill. In 1993, we paid an average of $61.49, and by 2003 it dropped to $49.91, a nearly 20 percent decrease.

Subscribers went from 140.7 million in December 2002 to 158.7 million last December — up 10 percent.

Plus, wireless investments are up nearly 15 percent. Carriers reported $145.8 billion in total cumulative capital investment during the same timeframe– up nearly $19 billion from $126.9 billion in December 2002.

Verizon plans major upgrade

Verizon said Monday that it is upgrading its network with technology to provide high-speed broadband access. Verizon agreed to contracts worth $700 million with Lucent and Nortel, which got $167 million of the total, to implement EV-DO (evolution-data optimized) equipment that permits transmission speed from 300 to 500 kilobits a second. That’s 10 times or more as fast as a standard modem.

The new service is not cheap, however, running $80 a month.

Sprint and AT&T also have plans to implement EV-DO, according to wire service reports.

Products and offerings

Here’s a look at new products and services being unveiled at the show:

JABRA SP100 – Their first entry into the mobile speakerphone category, JABRA SP100 is a cordless, portable speakerphone that works with the latest Bluetooth phones and allows convenient hands-free conversations in the car, office or home. Available in North America during second quarter this year.

3D CX66 from Siemens – It’s one of three new handsets from the German company with an office in Raleigh. The phone has integrated video, camera and joystick navigation, plus 11 MB of share video for clips. The CX66, C66 and CF62 are slated to be available in the U.S. third quarter.

The Koi Megapixel Camera Phone from Kyocera – The first one launched by Kyocera has 1.2 megapixels comes with BMW branding. Kyocera was founded four year ago when the parent company acquired Qualcomm’s handset business. All five new camera phones will be available in the U.S. third quarter.

palmOne’s latest — Wireless devices for all: the Treo 600 smartphone, the Tungsten C handheld with integrated Wi-Fi, and the Tungsten T3 handheld with integrated Bluetooth(R) technology. Each available now.

Gameboard EGB-10 from Sony Ericsson – Two-handed, snap-on, console-style game controller with 8-way navigation and 4 action buttons for enhanced mobile gaming. Available second quarter.

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