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Tech Industry

The week ahead: It's a wireless world

Two conferences will attract the wireless industry this week: the 3GSM World Congress in France and Internet World's Wireless East conference in New York.

    Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Feb. 18 through Feb. 22.

    Two conferences on two different continents will attract the attention of wireless companies this week.

    Nokia, Motorola, Lucent Technologies and Siemens are just some of the companies that plan to sponsor the 3GSM World Congress that kicks off Tuesday in France. The function will unite companies interested in GSM technology, the dominant wireless standard in Europe and Asia.

    Internet World will stage its Wireless East conference in New York City, which will feature exhibitions from more than 170 companies including Verizon Wireless, Microsoft, Sprint PCS, Cingular Wireless, Cisco Systems and Nextel Communications.

    Wireless service provider Nextel is also scheduled Thursday to announce earnings along with telecom equipment maker Ciena and Internet software developer BEA Systems. Agilent Technologies and Arrow Electronics will also report earnings this week.

    Investors will receive news Wednesday on the status of the U.S. economy when the Labor Department releases its report on the January figures for the Consumer Price Index, which economists use to track inflation trends.

    The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

    Other events scheduled this week:

    Tech Events
    Sunday, Feb. 17
    • IBM hosts IBM PartnerWorld, a conference for its sales partners, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Feb. 17 to Feb. 20. New IBM CEO Sam Palmisano is scheduled to speak.

    • The Global Grid Forum takes place at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada, Feb. 17 to Feb. 20. The conference is for academics and companies interested in linking computers into a giant supercomputing "grid."

    Monday, Feb. 18
    • The RSA conference takes place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., Feb. 18 to Feb. 22. The conference will address computer and network security issues.

    Tuesday, Feb. 19
    • The 3GSM World Congress convenes in Cannes, France, Feb. 19 to Feb. 22. The conference will cover developments in GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications), the technology that operates most of the mobile phone networks in the world. Senior executives from Compaq Computer, AT&T Wireless, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Intel and Vodafone will make keynote speeches.

    • Investment banking firm Credit Suisse First Boston will host the Semiconductor and Semi Equipment conference, an event for people in the chip and chip equipment industry, in Miami, Feb. 19 to Feb. 22.

    Wednesday, Feb. 20
    • Internet World will host Wireless East at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, Feb. 20 to Feb. 22. The conference is for companies interested in learning about wireless Internet technology and business strategy. Topics addressed include home networking as well as wireless investment, security, commerce and service providers.

    • Pocket PC New York is colocated with Wireless East and also kicks off at the Javits Convention Center in New York City, Feb. 20 to Feb. 22. The gathering will focus on the Pocket PC, Microsoft's handheld personal computer.

    • The Semiconductor Venture Fair meets at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel in Burlingame, Calif., Feb. 20 to Feb. 21. The event is for venture capitalists interested in investing in semiconductor technology and features presentations by private chip companies.

    • Computer security software firm Symantec will host a meeting for analysts that follow the company, on Feb. 20 in Santa Clara, Calif. The event will also be Webcast.

    Thursday, Feb. 21

    • JP Morgan H&Q will host the Fourth Communications Symposium at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Feb. 21 to Feb. 22.

      Earnings

      Tuesday, Feb. 19

      • ADC Telecommunications makes equipment for telecom carriers. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: a loss of 5 cents. That compares with a profit of 7 cents in the year-ago quarter.

      • Agilent Technologies makes test and measurement equipment for companies in the healthcare, semiconductor and communications sectors. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: a loss of 50 cents. That compares with a profit of 48 cents in the year-ago quarter.

      • Dobson Communications owns or manages cell phone networks in 19 states and provides wireless service to 1 million subscribers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: a loss of 61 cents.

      • Gilat Satellite Networks makes equipment for satellite communications networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: a loss of 51 cents.

      Wednesday, Feb. 20
      • Arrow Electronics is a distributor of electronic parts and computer products. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: a loss of 3 cents.

      • Copper Mountain Networks manufactures DSL (digital subscriber line) equipment, which provides high-speed Internet access to computer users. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: a loss of 12 cents.

      • Credence Systems makes test equipment for chip manufacturers. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: a loss of 33 cents. That compares with a profit of 27 cents in the year-ago quarter.

      Thursday, Feb. 21
      • BEA Systems makes e-commerce software businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: a profit of 7 cents. That compares with a profit of 10 cents in the year-ago quarter.

      • Ciena makes gear for telecom carriers. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: a loss of 20 cents. That compares with a profit of 18 cents in the year-ago quarter.

      • Nextel Communications provides cell phone service to about 8.2 million U.S. subscribers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: a loss of 45 cents.

      • Wind River Systems develops embedded software used in chips and other electronic hardware. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: a loss of 1 cent. That compares with a profit of 19 cents in the year-ago quarter.

      Economic Reports

      Tuesday, Feb. 19

      • The commencement of construction on new homes, known as Housing Starts, is expected to climb to 1.595 million for January, up from 1.57 million in December, as reported by the Department of Commerce. Economists use this statistic to gauge the health of consumer spending on large items in the economy.

      Wednesday, Feb. 20
      • The Consumer Price Index is expected to rise 0.2 percent in January from the previous month's drop of 0.2 percent. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to rise 0.2 percent from December's 0.1 percent increase. This keenly watched Labor Department index measures price changes at the consumer level, a key way for economists to track inflation.

      Thursday, Feb. 21
      • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week ending Feb. 16.

      • The Trade Balance, or the value of U.S. imports subtracted from exports, is expected to widen to a deficit of $28.5 billion in December from a deficit $27.9 billion in November as reported monthly by the Commerce Department.

      • The index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) is expected to rise 0.6 percent for January as compiled by the Conference Board, a business group. The LEI rose 1.2 percent in December. The index, designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle, is a combination of 10 indicators, including consumer expectations, money supply data, and the change in housing permits issued. A falling index generally indicates an oncoming recession, while a climbing index signals an expansion.

      • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's monthly Business Outlook Survey is a survey of manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District that tracks the direction of change in overall business activity at their plants. Wall Street expects the index to fall to 10 for the month of February from January's 14.7.

      • The Treasury Budget is a monthly report of the surplus or deficit of the U.S. government from the Department of Treasury. The deficit is expected to fall in January to $52.0 billion from $76.4 billion in December.