Wireless Communications Initiative

What are we doing?

Joint Venture’s Wireless Communications Initiative is a coalition between the wireless industry, local governments, businesses, and residents working together to improve the wireless network infrastructure in Silicon Valley. The coalition builds on existing relationships with technology companies and local government leaders to drive a coordinated public-private sector effort and mounts a highly strategic campaign to transform Silicon Valley’s wireless network infrastructure into a world-class showcase of speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Focus Areas:

  • Emerging Technologies – IMT-2020 (5G), M2M, LTE-MTC, D2D, V2V, LAA & LWA.
  • Carrier Telecommunications – Cellular Voice and 3G/4G Mobile Data, Small Cells, DAS, CPRI/CRAN, HetNets, and Self-Organizing Networks.
  • Unlicensed Wireless Networks – Wi‑Fi (esp. 802.11ac Wave 1 & 2), non-traditional carrier models (Wi‑Fi First, Wi‑Fi Only).
  • Connected City / Smart City – Municipal and Public Venue wireless, Internet of Things (IoT), Camouflage & Aesthetic antennas.
  • Backhaul Technologies – Wireless (sub 6 GHz, 60/70/80 GHz, licensed and unlicensed), Fiber.
  • Public Safety – SAFECOM Interoperability, Digital Narrowbanding, Radio‑over‑IP, FirstNet, Wireless E‑911.

Our Strategies:

  • Educate Public and Private Sector Stakeholders – Identify key stakeholders in cities/counties and educate them on technology and trends in the wireless industry. Similarly, educate the wireless industry on how to partner and work with cities/counties.
  • Locate New Technologies – Identify early-stage companies with compelling technology, and bring those companies to the attention of the consortium.
  • Promote Model Ordinances and Processes – Work with cities/counties to provide best practices and guidelines for developing wireless deployment ordinances that encourage innovation and deployment.
  • Heightened Advocacy in Local Jurisdictions – Provide a strong regional voice speaking to the competitive and economic implications of a robust wireless network infrastructure.
  • Expand Coalition – Find common ground and encourage dialog between local governments, businesses, technology companies and the wireless industry and build coalitions to improve our regional wireless networks.

Why are we doing it?

World-class wireless networks are key to robust economic development, are an important component in attracting and retaining the world's best talent, and are increasingly a key tool for ensuring public safety as citizens transition away from landline telephones - over a third of US households are now wireless-only. While our economic growth is the envy of the world, unfortunately our wireless networks are anything but. Dead zones, slow data, and dropped voice calls are not uncommon. Visitors from outside the area are often surprised that Silicon Valley's wireless networks aren't more robust - after all, most wireless technology is developed right here. The reasons for this problem are complex, but in general they're rooted in the way that companies interact and partner with local governments. To remain competitive and foster innovation, the Wireless Communications Initiative provides education and works to build public-private partnerships so we can deploy world-class wireless networks.

Why do we have this problem?

Wireless networks are now carrying enormous amounts of data traffic: In 2014 global mobile data traffic was 8 Exabytes-per-month, and is projected to grow to 71 Exabytes-per-month by 2020. We are placing ever-increasing demands on our RF spectrum, a limited yet critical resource for wireless networks. Our current economic boom is being driven by the Mobile Economy - smartphones, apps, and the services enabled by them. Unfortunately, our wireless networks are not keeping pace. The proliferation of smartphones and connected devices requiring wireless data is pushing existing infrastructure beyond its limits, yet the process of obtaining permits and negotiating contracts to deploy systems is complex and time-consuming. We need better networks, faster and more efficient technologies, and we need to remove obstacles to deployment so companies with innovative technologies can deploy networks that will feed our appetite for wireless data.

Who's involved?

Joint Venture Board Champion: Dave Hodson, Partner, Director of Development - Cloud Engineering, Skype (a division of Microsoft)

Co-Chair: Dr. Edwin Tasch, Chief of Neurology - Santa Clara Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente
Co-Chair: Vijay Sammeta, Chief Information Officer, City of San José

Our project is guided by a Steering Committee consisting of:

  • Leon Beauchman, AT&T Wireless
  • David Casas, VP Community and Government Relations, Intero Real Estate
  • Angela D’Anna, External Affairs, AT&T Wireless
  • Jon Dohm, Zoning Manager - West Area, Crown Castle
  • Natasha Ernst, Asst. General Counsel - Access, Lightower Fiber Networks
  • Lennies Gutierrez, Director of Government Affairs, Comcast
  • Siiri Hage, Director of Marketing Communications, Anritsu Company
  • Mike Hill, Municipal Relations, ExteNet Systems
  • Sharon James, Manager Government Relations, Crown Castle
  • Bill McShane, National Director - Connected City Experience, Philips
  • Eric Reed, Vice President – Entertainment & Tech Policy, Verizon Wireless
  • Randall Schwabacher, Manager - Small Cell Deployment NorCal, AT&T Wireless
  • Jon Walton, Chief Information Officer, County of Santa Clara
  • Glen Williams, Asset Development Manager, County of Santa Clara

Latest Developments

  • Third Annual Broadband & Wireless Roundtable held on April 9, 2014 at the Cupertino Community Hall. Panelist included Sunnyvale Vice-Mayor Jim Davis, David Vossbrink from San Jose, Marc Blakeman from AT&T, and Doug Nolan from Comcast. The Roundtable focused on how communities can be “Fiber Ready” for new and improved broadband networks. There was also an update on the current rule-making proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission. View the presentation slides.
  • Filed Comments at the Federal Communications Commission for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Docket 13-238 covering 4 areas: Distributed Antenna System (DAS)/Small Cell Regulatory Reform, Temporary Tower Regulatory Reform, Section 6409 ("Collocation by right"), and Input on the 2009 Declaratory Ruling (“Shot Clock”). View comments.

What are the next steps?

  • We will be recruiting additional members for the Initiative, and will seek new solutions from within Silicon Valley's robust technology ecosystem.
  • Technology companies, employees of local governments, businesses, and residents can contact us to find out more about the Initiative and factors affecting regional wireless networks.
  • We will be contributing to open State and Federal proceedings in order to support changes in law that will encourage faster, cheaper, and more wireless and broadband infrastructure.
  • Seminars, Roundtables, and Symposiums will be hosted on a regular basis to provide education and a forum for coalition-building.
  • We will meet regularly with elected officials to show how world-class wireless networks can have a positive impact on Silicon Valley’s economic vitality and competitiveness.
  • Steering Committee meetings are held every six weeks.

Where do I find out more?

To learn more about the Initiative, to request a briefing, or to inquire about membership please contact:

David Witkowski


Wireless Communications Objective

Joint Venture's Wireless Communications Initiative brings together the wireless industry, technology companies, local governments, businesses, and residents to improve wireless networks in the Silicon Valley.

Wireless Publications

Mobile Data Usage

Mobile data usage will exceed 71 Exabytes per month by the year 2020.

MEXP Global Mobile Data

Source: Mobile Experts LLC

Wireless Initiative Partners

  • Anritsu Company
  • AT&T Wireless
  • California Wireless Association
  • City of San José
  • Comcast
  • County of San Mateo
  • County of Santa Clara
  • Crown Castle
  • ExteNet Systems
  • Intero Real Estate
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Philips
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Wireless Communications Alliance