Earlier this month, Device Pitstop sent a couple of staffers to the Super Mobility trade show facilitated by the CTIA. Read about what they saw and learned in this blog post by Robby Molberg, Device Pitstop’s Inventory Sourcing Specialist:
Definition: CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) is an association of companies that specialize in all things wireless, i.e. carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc.), suppliers (Apple, Samsung, etc.), accessories and many more aspects of wireless technology.
Benefits: CTIA advocates for all of their members through avenues in government as well as helping facilitate education for consumers in relation to wireless technology. In addition, the organization is heavily involved with voluntary efforts to self-regulate the recycling and reuse of wireless product.
Super Mobility: They also facilitate the Super Mobility trade show held annually. This year it was in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Sands Expo & Convention Center.
Super Mobility is the MUST ATTEND event for everyone who’s business revolves around wireless technology, whether that be the sale of said devices, their accessories or the repair aspect. The convention brings together all of the biggest names to facilitate industry collaboration between not only the well-known companies but the startups as well; plus, it offers educational opportunities for all.
1. Wireless Connectivity
4G Advancements/5G: We were able to attend several keynotes and listened to key industry leaders such as John G. Stratton, the Executive Vice President and President of Operations for Verizon.
Mr. Stratton spoke of many advancements still to come in the 4G LTE Internet connectivity we enjoy with our smartphones today. He also touched on 5G speeds and how Verizon is working furiously to develop the infrastructure and put in place the technological requirements to see it realized by the year 2020.
5G is predicted to bring about widespread usage of the Internet of Things. Quite simply, this would mean our everyday devices, i.e. refrigerator, washer, dryer, etc., would all become connected devices and controlled through such interfaces as smartphones and tablets.
5G could very well replace fiber optic lines being laid in select cities to increase the current average speed (30mbps) to 1GB (1,000 mbps) of download speed! In laymen’s terms, that’s replacing the average consumer’s mini-van with a Ferrari! This is specifically relevant to IoT (Internet of Things) and having more devices than ever connected to the web and their subsequent draw on current bandwidth availability.
Summary: With new technology just around the corner to help facilitate faster connection speeds and connecting more of our everyday devices as an aggregate, Device Pitstop’s role in their customer’s lives will greatly increase!
As we become more reliant on technology to perform the most basic of tasks around the house, we may very well see our customers bringing a “smart” microwave in for repair or perhaps their “smart” thermostat (already in existence). This brings even more opportunity for education, repair services and saleable devices to the DP inventory.
2. Vendors – Parts
Wholesale Vendors for Repair: We were able to meet with countless companies that offer a vast array of repair tools and parts to encourage growth and streamlining the repair process that we currently engage in on an everyday basis.
Quality vs Cost – Meeting in the Middle: With a vast array of potential suppliers of mobile repair parts out there and highly visible at Super Mobility, discerning which vendors to utilize is a monumental task!
We have come away from the event with more than we could possibly utilize and are working quickly to ascertain which are here to stay and those that won’t have longevity in the marketplace.
This means determining quality product that meets our expectations as well as affordable costs to effectively compete in each and every Device Pitstop location. These vendors are vetted in our corporate location before their recommendation is made to the franchisees for their daily usage.
Innovations in Repair: Super Mobility is the best and brightest in the industry, bringing their creations to fruition and showcasing them to retailers/repair stores such as us! We were able to take part in demonstrations of the latest in repair technology. Such innovations will further the profitability of more and more devices being repaired, especially as these devices are becoming a part of IoT (Internet of Things).
3. Vendors – Wholesale Suppliers
Cellphone/Tablet Suppliers: Device Pitstop focuses on the recycle and reuse side of consumer electronics. We want to keep devices out of landfills and in user’s hands for longer! We consider this to be wise stewardship of the resources we’re entrusted with as well as a great way for everyday Americans to cut rising technological costs.
Everyone wants the latest and greatest in mobile tech but not at the price tag buying new entails. One of our primary goals at Super Mobility was to find and develop relationships with vendors of refurbished cellphones. Gently used, current models that will bring the affordability factor in play as well as staying current with the latest advancements.
We have definitely found said vendors and are working with them to bring the best, refurbished smartphone/tablet technology to a Device Pitstop near you!
Summary: CTIA Super Mobility was a whirlwind of exciting and innovating technological advancements that are currently available with many more to come in the near future!
The most impactful portion of the show was certainly meeting many current friends/vendors in person and furthering that relationship in addition to meeting a host of new ones! These relationships not only help us to stay relevant with today’s marketplace but keeps us on our toes for future innovations just around the corner and years ahead! One can never look too far in the future with mobile tech as it evolves at an ever-increasing speed.