WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE
What are we doing?
Joint Venture’s Wireless Communication Initiative is a collaboration between the wireless industry, cities, businesses and residents working to improve the wireless infrastructure in Silicon Valley and eliminate dead spots. The consortium builds on existing relationships with municipal governments to lead a coordinated public-private sector effort and mounts a highly strategic campaign to transform Silicon Valley’s wireless data & communications infrastructure.
Educate Public and Private Sector Stakeholders – Identify key stakeholders in cities and educate them on the critical issues affecting the growth of the wireless industry. Similarly, educate the wireless industry on how to partner with cities.
Promote Model Ordinances and Processes – Work with cities to provide best practices and guidelines for developing model wireless deployment ordinances.
Heighten Our Advocacy in the Local Jurisdictions – Provide a strong regional voice speaking to the competitive and economic implications of a robust wireless infrastructure.
Expand Coalition – Reach out to other members of the wireless community including businesses and residents to broaden our advocacy base.
Why are we doing it?
Concerns regarding the wireless infrastructure have become even more urgent given the evolution of “smart phones” and other mobile devices that demand greater bandwidth. Mobile networks in North America are filled to 80 percent of capacity, with 36 percent of base stations facing capacity constraints, according to a survey by investment bank Credit Suisse. Many of the smart devices and the applications that run on these networks have been designed by companies right here in Silicon Valley. The success of these technologies will affect the economic prospects of the region. Furthermore, the new services will increasingly be critical to the way we do business and communicate.
To be an innovative region, Silicon Valley needs a robust and reliable wireless network. Unfortunately, we don’t have one. This hurts our economy and our competitive position, and it even poses threats to our safety.
Why do we have this problem?
Basically speaking, we have this problem because our use of wireless devices has increased exponentially, and the infrastructure isn’t keeping pace. An increasing number of cell phones with text and voice capability have been pushing capacity limits. Now, with the proliferation of smart phones and other mobile devices requiring wireless broadband, the network is reaching a point where we can no longer rely on it being available when we need it.
Meanwhile wireless communication growth continues unabated. From CTIA’s 2010 Year End Survey:
- We have currently 292 million subscribers in the U.S
- Reported wireless minutes of use in 2009 exceeded 2.75 trillion demonstrating a steady 3.3% year-over-year growth
- Users are making 300,000 E-911 calls daily across the U.S.
- Over 26% of the U.S. households are wireless only
A concerted coalition-led effort is needed to improve our infrastructure and solve this problem in a timely manner.
Joint Venture Board Champion: Larry Alder, Product Manager, Google
Co-Chair: David Casas, Los Altos City Council
Co-Chair: Dr. Edwin Tasch, Chief of Neurology, Santa Clara Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente
Our project is guided by a Steering Committee Council consisting of:
- Brian Moura, Assistant City Manager, City of San Carlos
- Bruce Knopf, Director, Santa Clara County Office of Asset and Economic Development
- Ellis Berns, Economic Development Manager, City of Mountain View
- David Witkowski, Wireless Communications Alliance
- Gary Waldeck, City of Los Altos Hills
- John Jefferson, AT&T
- Lennies Guiterrez, Comcast
- Bill Stephens, Municipal Relations, Extenet Systems
- Randall Schwabacher, Senior Site Acquisition Manager, T-Mobile
- Rod De La Rosa, Senior Manager External Affairs, T-Mobile
- Natasha Ernest, Crown Castle
Wireless Workshops were held in Palo Alto and Mountain View. The Workshops were an opportunity for City Council members and City staff to explore the evolution of wireless technology and the implications for their cities. The Initiative team played an important role in developing the Workshop agenda and providing information about the industry. Both meetings were helpful in establishing the importance of wireless technology deployment in the respective cities.
We have launched the Coalition for a 21st Century Wireless Infrastructure. The Coalition’s goal is to encourage local jurisdictions to approve applications for wireless facilities by presenting a united voice for an improved wireless infrastructure. Those individuals or organizations joining the Coalition will be asked to lend their names, write letters or appear at hearings.
Joint Venture established the Silicon Valley Wireless Education Fund to promote the development of innovative school-based applications using wireless technology. The Fund will be making grants to Silicon Valley schools and ocal technology companies are expected to contribute to funding the selected projects. The WCI will work with local education organizations to establish a process for reviewing applications and awarding the grants.
What are the next steps?
We will be recruiting additional members for the Coalition for a 21st Century Infrastructure. Organizations can contact WCI if they’re interested in having a presentation about the Initiative and the future of wireless communications.
Wireless Workshops will be presented in local jurisdictions. The Workshops provide an opportunity to share information about the evolution of the wireless industry and its prospective impact on Silicon Valley. In addition, the public is encouraged to provide its input which is generally supportive of greater investment in our wireless infrastructure.
The Silicon Valley Wireless Education Fund will be seeking additional investors to fund contributions to develop innovative wireless applications for our local schools.
Steering Committee Meetings – Steering Committee meetings are usually held at 1:00pm on the first Monday of the month.
Where do I find out more?
To learn more about the initiative, or to join the team, contact Leon Beauchman,
Joint Venture's Wireless Communications Initiative brings together wireless service providers, cities, businesses and users to improve wireless service in the Valley.
- Join the Wireless Infrastructure Coalition
- Wireless Communications Initiative
- Wireless Infrastructure Coalition
- Wireless Facts
- Wireless Health Facts
- Wireless News
- Agenda and Presentations from Wireless Symposium, November 2012
- Agenda and Presentations from Wireless Symposium, November 2011
- Event Registration
Minutes of Cell Phone Use in the U.S. Exceeded 2.275 Trillion in 2009, a 3.3% year-over-year growth
Source: CTIA, the Wireless Association, www.ctia.org
Our Coalition Partners:
- California Wireless Association (CalWA)
- Extenet Systems
- NextG Networks
- WesTower Communications
- Wireless Communications Alliance
- Wireless Partners, Inc.