Nan Chen first became involved with Carrier Ethernet in the later...
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|TIA 2012 “Inside the Network”|
The TIA 2012 Conference and Exhibition was held on June 5-7 at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Focused on innovation and thought leadership, TIA 2012 was the annual gathering of the community of technology suppliers that form the foundation of the global communications experience.
Randall Stephenson, the Chairman and CEO of AT&T, was the Keynote Speaker. Additionally, Dallas-based AT&T participated in the event as Opening Night Reception Sponsor. “As the largest integrated communications carrier in North America, AT&T has demonstrated a willingness to expand its core offerings beyond the traditional delivery of ‘voice, video and data,’” said TIA President Grant Seiffert.
Grant went on to say that, “Today, AT&T is exhibiting leadership and innovation in new areas of communications and connectivity such as mobile broadband, M2M and connected devices, mobile health and more. In this way, AT&T is at the forefront of the changing business for network operators and service providers, and as a result the communications supply chain of products, services and applications.”
Alcatel-Lucent also presented a keynote address to the telecommunications industry by Robert Vrij, Alcatel-Lucent’s President of the Americas and head of the company’s global strategic alliances. In his speech, Vrij highlighted the role today’s networks play in delivering value across a number of fronts, including economic growth, healthcare and education, to name a few. Taking these benefits into account, he appealed to the industry to “tear down the walls” between fixed and wireless networks as consumers demand seamless connectivity between the two.
Vrij illustrated how the approach to the network should be less about measuring bits and more about measuring the impact that today’s integrated network has on consumers and enterprises - a network that, according to Vrij, is “becoming more like the air we breathe every day.” Looking ahead, Vrij highlighted some exciting new service concepts that can embed the value of the network even more deeply into consumers’ lives than ever before. Verizon Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone told the TIA attendees that the Federal Communications Commission should make it easier for companies to buy and sell wireless spectrum licenses that they’ve bought in government auctions.
Melone said the FCC needs to speed up the process for approving spectrum sales and license transfers in the secondary market. He used his company’s own bid to buy wireless spectrum from a consortium of cable companies as an example. In December, Verizon promised to pay $3.6 billion for nearly 20 MHz of wireless spectrum in the AWS band. The FCC and Department of Justice are reviewing the transaction. The agencies have been reviewing the deal since December when it was announced and are expected to finish their inquiry by the end of July.
Melone said that he thinks the process, which is expected to take a little over six months, is too long. And he said it’s a barrier to getting unused wireless spectrum into companies that can put it into use. He criticized the agency for taking too long to evaluate the transaction. “A deal that will allow us to acquire spectrum from companies that have had it for 10 years and have not used it one iota, is getting far more scrutiny than it should,” he said. He went onto say that he realizes the FCC is charged with approving such transactions. But he said that regulators have made the process “onerous” and “unfriendly,” making it difficult to get spectrum in the hands of companies that can use it.
Other spectrum transfers, such as AT&T’s purchase of spectrum from Qualcomm took nearly a year to complete. In that deal, AT&T was looking to buy 12 MHz of spectrum. In Verizon’s deal with cable, it wants to buy more than 20 MHz of spectrum. In fact, the deal is one of the largest spectrum license transfers it’s ever reviewed outside of an acquisition.
The TIA attendees heard from these industry leaders and several others from within the industry. The insight from these leaders and the other educational meetings were all well received by the large TIA crowds.