NEW YORK, Jan 2 (Reuters) - CTIA, the U.S. wireless industry group, said it plans to combine its two annual trade shows into one autumn event starting in 2014, as it vies to become a stage for product launches before the end-of-year holiday shopping season.
The trade group, whose members include the top U.S. wireless service providers such as Verizon Wireless , AT&T Inc and Sprint Nextel, said on Wednesday that its first combined show will take place in September 2014 in Las Vegas.
It has traditionally staged a trade show in the spring and autumn each year but its biggest event, the spring CTIA Show, has been increasingly overshadowed by the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas each January, and Mobile World Congress held in February in Barcelona.
The announcement comes less than a week before the kick-off of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, which starts Jan. 8.
CTIA said it sees the timing of the 2014 show as a good platform for exhibitors "to debut mobile consumer products and services heading into the annual holiday buying season."
Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, already said on Wednesday that the 2014 show will be key to its plans for announcing its latest products and services.
CTIA, whose first trade show was held in May 1985 in Washington, D.C., has not disclosed its attendance numbers for the last few years.