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Wireless History Foundation inducts four into Wireless Hall of Fame

The Wireless History Foundation this week honored its 2013 inductees into the Wireless Hall of Fame during an event in San Jose, Calif.

This year’s inductees include:

–George Schmitt: Served in various positions across a number of wireless entities over 40 years, including at Pacific Telesis where he was responsible for building the first GSM system in the world in Germany for the Mannesmann consortium; president of Omnipoint where he built the largest American PCS network at the time; EVP of international operations for Airtouch he built the world’s first CDMA network in South Korea; and served as the first American chair of the GSM Association.

–Kris Rinne: Currently SVP of network technologies at AT&T Labs, and served in various technical positions across a handful of wireless operators and organizations over the past 30 years, including early leadership in deploying GSM technology in the United States set the stage for the success of the 3GPP family of technologies; formerly held the position of VP of technology strategy for SBC Wireless and managing director of operations at Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems; and also contributed to the industry as the chairperson of the board of governors at 3G Americas and as a director of the alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions.

–Mark Warner: Served as managing director at venture capital firm Columbia Capital, which invested in a number of early wireless start ups, including an initial investor in FleetCall that went on to become Nextel Communications; founded or co-founded MRW Enterprises, Capital Cellular and Columbia Cellular; and served as governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006 and elected to the U.S. Senate from Virginia in 2008.

–Craig Farrill: A long-time industry veteran, who over his 38-year career worked with Communications Industries, one of the first modern wireless companies; served as CTO at Vodafone AirTouch Plc, PacTel and AirTouch Communications; founder of the CDMA Development Group; and one of the original board members of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), serving as acting general manager during its organizational phase.


2013 Wireless Hall of Fame inductees (L-R): George Schmitt, Kris Rinne and Craig Farrill.
Source: Richard Mayer Photo

The Wireless Hall of Fame was launched in 2008, and included groundwork laid out by RCR Wireless News, which rolled in its own Wireless Hall of Fame program that began in 1999. The first inductees included:

–Martin Cooper, chairman and CEO of ArrayComm. During his tenure at Motorola, Cooper invented the portable radio system that was later incorporated into cellular.

–Robert Galvin, chairman and/or president of Motorola from 1956-1990.

–Dr. Irwin Jacobs, founder, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm.

–Fred M. Link, founder of Link Radio, Radio Club of America president, 1968-1992, and president emeritus until his death in 1998.

–Craig McCaw, founder of McCaw Cellular Communications. McCaw also is chairman, CEO and founder of Teledesic; chairman and CEO of Eagle River; and founder of Nextlink Communications.

–William McGowen, founder of MCI Communications and chairman of the company until his death in 1992. McGowen is credited with breaking up AT&T.

–Andrew J. Viterbi, vice chairman and former CTO of Qualcomm.

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