GSMA to partner with CTIA on new U.S. wireless trade show

The GSMA will partner with CTIA on a new industry trade event beginning next year in the U.S. in an effort to bring a more global flavor to the industry's largest American show.

The event, cumbersomely dubbed "GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas, in partnership with CTIA," will debut in September 2017 in San Francisco. The two organizations are equal partners in the effort, and GSMA will take the lead on production and management.

The move will see the demise of CTIA's annual Super Mobility event, which focuses primarily on the U.S. and will be held September 7-9 in Las Vegas this year. CTIA will continue to host other educational and policy initiatives to promote the U.S. mobile market.

The GSMA's Mobile World Congress will still be held in Barcelona every year, and GSMA will continue to organize the annual MWC Shanghai. The new U.S. event is expected to attract 30,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors, the groups said.

"By combining the show resources of the two preeminent wireless organizations – CTIA and the GSMA – we will have the first truly global wireless event in the United States and the Americas. Each fall, this unique collaboration will bring the world's attention to mobile innovation and opportunities from 5G to the Internet of Things and beyond," CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a prepared statement. "At the new event, CTIA looks forward to continuing to develop its policy-focused educational sessions and collaborate on the keynote program. Our joint event will provide the ideal platform to highlight the U.S. mobile industry and the impact it has for billions of people around the world."

CTIA for several years held two annual trade shows: Its flagship event, which was held in the spring, and CTIA IT & Entertainment Show in the fall. It combined the two into a single rebranded event starting in 2014 after years of trying to compete with CES and MWC during the first few months of the year.

"The mobile industry will be the big winner as CTIA and GSMA work together to produce the premier mobile event in the Americas," said Glenn Lurie, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations and CTIA board chairman, in the press announcement. "We expect it to be a showcase for new technology as well as an ideal place to do business."

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