The general trend within the wireless media is to recap conferences and trade show, both as they run and afterwards. That has a great deal of value, both to the attendees, for what they were not able to catch, as well as those that cannot attend. However, rarely do organizations behind such events get recognition for the hard work and maximum effort it takes to, successfully, pull it off. Most of the time this behind the scenes work goes unnoticed. So rather than pen another recap of the today’s happenings at the Connectivity Expo here in sunny Orlando, Florida, I want to take a moment to bring to light more of what the Wireless Infrastructure Association is about and how much they actually do for this industry.
I had the opportunity to have a spot of lunch in the WIA member room while its president, Johnathan Adelstein, talked a bit about all the areas WIA is invested in. I knew about some of them but others I had no idea about.
The fact that WIA has enough esteem to draw speaker from inside and outside of the industry, like Neville Ray and Adam Koeppe of T-Mobile and Verizon, respectively, and Shelly McKinley from Microsoft, speaks volumes. But having Orlando’s mayor, Buddy Dyer show up and speak, is, really, impressive. Orlando’s mayor is one of the more progressive when it comes to issues such as siting. That he recognizes that WIA is the organization that is capable of helping Orlando, as well as other cities, to understand and expedite deployments and smooth over the speedbumps that deploying such new, as well as, expanding existing networks present, speaks for itself.
Tangential to Connect X, WIA events also work at bringing together some of the brightest minds in the industry to move wireless technology forward. One of WIA’s missions is to develop other events, such as the Wireless Hall of Fame to bring people together to generate ideas. Another is to provide platforms, one of which is a new blog, where thought leaders can discuss industry topics and present new or innovative ideas. Another is to provide an information platform to allow industry players to inform other peripheral segments, through white papers, for example, about developments in wireless segments.
There is also their support in forming working groups to further the development of bleeding-edge, evolving industry segments. The smart city working group is a prime example. This group partnered with the Smart Cities Council to bring attention to smart city development though a number of avenues. The idea is to cross pollinate wireless technologies with smart city concepts to come up with a variety of wireless solutions to the challenges of making a city smart.
WIA has also created the Innovation & Technology Council, which focuses creating and disseminating white papers on a variety of issues. Topics include the economic issues that surround broadband wireless network and infrastructure deployment in rural America, for example. As well, they created a report on mobile broadband policy concerns for the 5G buildout. And, this is only the beginning. Such task forces and councils are ideal for tackling the complex issues around wireless deployment.
Peripheral platforms are not forgotten either. A new fiber working group has been formed, chaired by Crown Castle to work on getting transport capabilities for the emerging 5G platforms.
And, WIA has been instrumental in moving heterogeneous networks forward with the creation of the HetNet forums back in 2006, and the small cell forums for a similar number of years. WIA has been a driving force in helping companies deploy small cells by providing a wealth of data pertinent to small cells and HetNets. Without such support, it is unlikely small cells would be where they are today. As well, there are many other directions in which the WIA is moving – too many to mention here.
My motivation for this missive is to let the industry know that there is an organization out there that has its finger on the pulse of wireless and that can only be of benefit to it. I have watched them, over the years, bloom and grow – a credit to Jonathan, Tracy Ford, and the rest of the WIA team, and how hard they have worked to bring the organization to where it is today. I am impressed by the leadership team of WIA and I believe it will be the driving force and a leading organization in the infrastructure space, going forward.