Following my appointment as DSA President at the beginning of May, this month has been about networking, meeting DSA members and getting to know the people who I will work with to achieve the DSA’s long-term goals of worldwide affordable connectivity.
Earlier this month, I attended Wi-Fi NOW USA and the FCBA Annual Seminar to discuss and debate dynamic spectrum management and the ways in which this can connect the unconnected around the world.
On the final day of Wi-Fi NOW USA, I joined Paul Garnett (Senior Director, Airband Initiative, Microsoft and Chairman of the DSA Board), Dudu Mkhwanazi (CEO, Project Isizwe) and Chris Marra (Product Manager, Facebook) for the Q&A panel ‘Building affordable connectivity with Wi-Fi & unlicensed radio – the road ahead’.
The Q&A panel prompted interesting discussions about what the industry can be doing to provide affordable connectivity around the world, especially for the 3.5 billion people who are still not connected to the internet. It was agreed that it is not only about connecting people, it is about all the opportunities that technology brings such as access to education, healthcare or improved agriculture.
The DSA is completely engaged to face this challenge and has already done so in the past, from hosting workshops in Ghana and Nigeria to promote TV White Space (TVWS), to providing a platform for the industry to come together, as we plan to do at the 2019 DSA Global Summit. All efforts to connect people are welcomed by the DSA, and dynamic access is an additional option to provide affordable access.
As an increasing amount of visionary companies – already shown by the DSA members Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and many more – begin to employ unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi to deliver affordable connectivity around the world, it is important to maintain the discussion about how to continue this trend. The Wi-Fi NOW USA event highlighted to me that this industry is continuing to evolve and is always rising to and meeting new standards.
I also participated in the FCBA Annual Seminar, held in Hot Springs, Virginia. Speaking on the panel ‘Meet Me in the Mid-band: A Spectrum of Perspectives’, I joined David Don (Comcast), Claude Aiken (WISPA), Michele Farquhar (Hogan Lovells) in a great discussion moderated by Megan Stull (Google) and Erin Griffith (Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP).
The panel focused on different CBRS perspectives, the potential of the 3450 MHz – 3550 MHz band, the latest information about C-Band, new opportunities for Spectrum sharing at 5.9 GHz and Wi-Fi 6 at the 6 GHz band.
Both the Wi-Fi NOW USA event and FCBA Seminar were great opportunities to network with industry leaders and to meet some DSA members for the first time. Continued dynamic spectrum management is crucial for realizing worldwide affordable connectivity and the way to achieve this is by encouraging the industry as a whole to see spectrum sharing as an opportunity rather than a competition.
Registration for the DSA Global Summit is open now and the full agenda is available on the website: http://dynamicspectrumalliance.org/global-summit/.