Well, almost everything. When it comes to network deployments by mobile network operators large and small, I learned almost everything I know by attending State Wireless Association events and other PCIA/DAS Forum events.
As one of the founding board members of the Texas State Wireless Association, I have a soft spot for the unsung heroes who for the past 30 years have been building and operating the wireless and mobile networks we all take for granted. More often than not, the members of the state wireless associations don’t attend Mobile World Congress or CTIA because they are too busy acquiring sites, building networks and maintaining existing networks. From 2G to 3G and now 4G/LTE, they have been getting the job done, so that we can enjoy our smartphones and iPads.
Wireless network planning may be done at the macro level, but the success of network deployments hinges on decisions made at the state and municipal level. With an eye toward positively influencing those local wireless siting outcomes, thus paving the way for continued network buildout, seven state wireless associations representing nine southern states are holding a two-day event next week.
“The timing of our event couldn’t be better”, said Steve Nicley, South Manager, T-Mobile Towers and president of the Tennessee Wireless Association (TWA). “The new federal collocation legislation has created a great deal of industry interest in its impact on local process. I’m pleased we can take advantage of this momentum and bring people together at this critical time in the industry.”
Nicley knows the value of the state wireless associations, having been active in TWA since its 2003 inception. He is also VP of the Kentucky Wireless Association and a member of the BOD of the Alabama Wireless Association. South Wireless Summit is spearheaded by Nicley, who has volunteered a great deal of time and effort coordinating the content, speakers, sponsors and logistics. His efforts have been aided by reps from other SWAs and by PCIA.
Please see below for more information about the South Wireless Summit and the State Wireless Associations.
What is the South Wireless Summit?
The South Wireless Summit, produced by PCIA on behalf of the state wireless associations of Alabama, Arkansas/Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana/Mississippi and Tennessee, will gather infrastructure providers, carriers and a broad array of services firms. Over 400 people are registered to attend the event so far. Funds collected benefit the South Wireless Summit Scholarship fund and will support SWA advocacy.
“As the industry advocate throughout all levels of government, PCIA works closely with the SWAs to foster relationships with key public officials at the state and local level,” stated PCIA President & CEO Mike Fitch. ”The South Wireless Summit is a prime opportunity for PCIA to interact with a large group of our members and gain insight into their efforts to influence policies that will benefit the industry.”
“The South Wireless Summit brings together peers from throughout the region to focus on the issues affecting our businesses,” says Nicely. The summit provides a platform for members of the industry to join together and coordinate a single message supporting the development of wireless networks on a state and local level, catch up on the latest 4G/LTE trends and hear how the latest federal regulatory and legislative action will impact siting efforts at the state and municipal level. Other highlights: “State of the Industry” roundtable discussion featuring tower execs (GTP, T-Mobile Towers, ATT Towers and Tower Ventures) and keynote address from C-Spire COO Kevin Hankins. Additional education sessions will include small cell deployments, stealth towers, 4G/LTE updates, FTTP and Passive Intermodulation Distortion.
Role of State Wireless Associations (SWAs)
SWAPs are non-profit, volunteer associations that represent the carriers, infrastructure providers and other companies that make wireless services possible. Because state and local regulations significantly impact the deployment of wireless infrastructure, industry relationships with decision makers are critical. SWAs promote positive industry awareness of the vital and important role wireless networks play in our society.
For real insights on wireless network deployments, I encourage you to join me and the RCR Wireless News team in Tunica, MS for what is sure to be a memorable and important event.