DALLAS — Following its formation in 1995 as the Personal Communications Industry Association, the since shortened PCIA is changing its name to the Wireless Infrastructure Association. WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein announced the name rebranding in the opening session of the group’s annual conference.
“We consider it a historic announcement,” he told a packed house. “You’re no longer at the PCIA show. This is a big change for the association. This name really better captures the focus of what we’re doing. We’d outgrown the name PCIA.”
Adelstein explained the event is “focused on the future,” which, based on many projections, suggests the demand for mobile data capacity will increase by a factor of six between now and 2020.
“We have to work hard and smart to make sure wireless infrastructure keeps up with the ever-growing demand for data capacity. That’s a real challenge for us to meet the demand,” Adelstein said. “WIA, we’re working hard … in Washington to make sure that regulators, people that make the laws, understand our needs so our business practices aren’t slowed down, so we can deploy wireless infrastructure in a cost-effective way. With a proper education, government can really be a help as well. They’re getting behind our message; they’re getting behind our need for wireless broadband. We’re finding that we need to work with localities in a positive way and respect and work with them to address their concerns. It has worked for our industry so far. We’re prepared to be the leaders in 5G. We’re fighting to make sure we can be that leader.”
Adelstein noted that, just as the wireless industry is changing dramatically, so too are the skills required in the wireless workforce. He said his ongoing conversations with industry employers have uncovered “a very real skills gap. We need the right workforce to upgrade and maintain these vast networks.”
Adelstein also called out WIA’s focus on supporting diversity in the wireless industry, which has manifested in the creation of the Supplier Diversity Summit. “Diversity makes companies strong. We need to do more than words.”