A celebration of the innovations and inventors that are shaping connectivity

The wireless industry is full of innovation and a spirit of outside-the-box thinking that has revolutionized the way people live, work and play.

This month, as the nation observes National Inventors Month, WIA celebrates the innovations and inventors in the wireless infrastructure industry who have made broadband connectivity possible and changed the way work is done to build networks. Each of these inventions, and many others, are impacting the wireless infrastructure industry in different ways, and helping to create a more connected world as a result.

Belden – REVConnect®

REVConnect was invented by Belden’s Montreal research and development team including from left to right: Virak Siev, Alain Desroches, Luc Milette, Francois Beauregard; and not pictured:  Marc Fontaine and Jean-Sebastien Plamondon.

Belden knew how cable installers, consultants and end-users felt about working with Ethernet connectivity — they wanted something more reliable, easier and more versatile. Our customers consistently told us that the entire connectivity installation process needed to be improved. They wanted:

  • Termination reliability with a 99% (or greater) first pass yield. Nearly 5% of Category 6A jacks and plugs needed rework after the first termination, and this rework was slowing projects down.
  • A termination process to increase speed for all terminations and cables. Installers were spending up to five minutes per connector to complete Category 6A terminations—and that doesn’t include the rework mentioned above.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) performance up to 100W. LCD monitors, wireless access points and security cameras with PTZ functionality were starting to call for this power level.
  • A single tool that covers all termination steps make installation easier. To terminate one jack and one plug, installers had to carry a wire stripper, flush cutter, 110 punch-down tool and crimp tool—at the very least.
  • One termination method to use on anything: jack, plug or coupler. Integrators were wasting valuable time training installers on different termination types.
  • More versatility. It was too difficult to swap back and forth between a plug, jack and coupler when device change-outs were needed.

In other words, our customers didn’t simply want a different connector. They wanted an entirely new termination process that would improve and simplify installation. Belden’s research and development team found a way to make it happen, designing a simple — but extremely useful — solution called REVConnect.

The innovation begins with the REVConnect core. This single component allows installers to finish 95% of the termination process without needing to know whether the connector will be a jack, plug or coupler. Once the decision is made, termination can easily be completed by an installer or even an end user. And it’s simple to swap between a plug, jack and coupler without any special training.

REVConnect also:

  • Reduces rework with a first pass yield of 99% for better termination reliability. The core makes this possible, with eight gold-plated contacts that pierce the wire insulation. Contact with the copper is made inside the conductor.
  • Supports 100W devices and MPTL (modular plug terminated link) installations so you can efficiently connect devices to the network. Including cable prep, REVConnect terminations take one minute or less for UTP-style cables and two minutes or less for shielded.
  • Requires only one termination process, one tool and one set of core components to perform any RJ45 connectorization.
  • Makes one core termination compatible with eight different connectors, from Category 5e to Category 6A jacks, shielded or unshielded and even Category 6A field-mountable plugs.

After seeing the industry impact of REVConnect, Belden decided to extend the benefits of its award-winning connectivity line to its end-to-end solutions by creating entire REVConnect Systems that provide best-in-class performance guarantees across all levels.

Each REVConnect System includes cable and connectivity designed to meet the needs of demanding applications in use today and those coming tomorrow. These include emerging wireless and PoE requirements, such as next-gen wireless access points and in-building small cells. REVConnect Systems are the most reliable, easiest to deploy and most versatile systems available.

“We had big goals for REVConnect,” said Virak Siev, one of the product’s inventors. “A connector that’s more reliable or easier to terminate was something we could immediately address. But to take time to understand how to create connectivity that would improve project cadence and deployment required our entire team. REVConnect confirms our belief that the best products stem from collaboration with all stakeholders—internal and external. Our next best product has already been thought of by our customers. We just need to listen.”

Visit Belden at Connect (X) – Booth 507


Bell Structural Solutions – Laminated Wood Structures

There’s nothing new about wood; it’s been around as long as oxygen, quite literally. But as the telecommunications industry looks to find efficient ways to support the growing demand for 5G infrastructure, laminated wood structures are starting to enter the market as a green alternative to steel and concrete.

Laminated wood telecom structures are starting to make a name for themselves, especially in Europe. Bell Structural Solutions, a round wood pole and laminated wood structure manufacturer and distributor based out of New Brighton, Minnesota, is one of the first companies in the U.S. to crack into the telecom market by selling laminated wood structures as a green alternative to steel telecom poles.

“We’re trying to get the telecom industry to think more about wood as opposed to some of the less sustainable products, like steel and concrete,” said Steve Kracht, Director of Utility Pole Sales at Bell Structural Solutions. “That’s why we decided to offer the industry a really good alternative to what people are used to, in the form of laminated wood structures.”

When telecom companies choose laminated wood for their telecom structures, they’re actively benefiting the environment. Wood structures are carbon negative – meaning they actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. On the contrary, steel utility poles release carbon into the atmosphere. When 2,000 steel poles are purchased, the equivalent of 156,000 gallons of gas is consumed, according to New Steel Construction and calculations by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Laminated wood structures – from small cell poles to large telecom structures – can be engineered to handle virtually any load, and whether they’re being placed in a bustling city or a quiet nature reserve, the laminated wood surfaces blend in with their surroundings.

“Now, instead of ordering steel or concrete structures that tower over parks or cause neighborhood eyesores, telecom companies have the opportunity to install beautiful wood structures that will actually be embraced by the surrounding community,” Kracht said. “Most importantly, laminated wood is the best choice for the planet. Future generations won’t be dealing with the consequences that come from laminated wood structures 100 years from now.”

Visit Bell Structural Solutions at Connect (X) – Booth 300 or  schedule a call with an expert online.


iLOQ – Battery-free, keyless, NFC-enabled lock cylinder

Mika Pukari iloq
Mika Pukari, founder, iLOQ

Modern society is heavily dependent on a well-functioning technical infrastructure. iLOQ S50 enables the use of mobile-based access management to keep track of who has access to what areas and when in real time. Thanks to the solution, physical keys and battery-operated lock cylinders are no longer needed: a smartphone is now the key and the power source. Secure and fully digital, cloud-based access management allows you to create and update access rights for thousands of property locks in real time and share them to field teams’ mobile phones instantly and remotely. The solution saves time, money and resources and makes day-to-day operations easier and more efficient than ever.  Combining data security with efficient remote access management, iLOQ S50 simplifies operations and reduces costs and security risks related to mechanical locks or battery-operated electric locks.

“In 2003, I founded iLOQ to develop a fully programmable, self-powered, digital locking system which is easy to install for existing doors and lock bodies. The self-powered solution doesn’t need power supply cables or batteries and saves money by eliminating cabling work and battery replacement costs. In 2016, we launched iLOQ’s 2nd generation solution, the iLOQ S50 mobile access sharing solution which is very easy to install, doesn’t need cables or batteries and is opened and powered by an NFC-enabled smartphone,” said Mika Pukari, founder of iLOQ.

Visit iLOQ at Connect (X) 2022 – Booth 121


Rashmi Varma, Innovate5G Inc.

Rashmi Varma Innovate5gRashmi Varma invented the first Telco Application Performance Monitoring (APM) platform which tracks Application performance through a 4G/5G wireless network.

The Telco APM called in5Genius, can help determine application quality over cellular networks and can follow the application all the way from the edge through the network and evaluate network KPIs connected to the application, while it traverses the wireless networks.

Applications such as Metaverse, Self Driving Cars and IoT can now determine the network slice SLA (Service Level Agreement) over commercial public and private networks. They can compare network performance across operators for the application. Applications such as Pokemon Go can now find the best regions to launch a marketing campaign with best quality of experience cellular locations.

In5Genius also provides machine models that can help adapt the application performance based on wireless network traffic prediction.

“in5Genius is like a Fitbit for applications. Understand the vitals of your application’s wireless network usage to know how to enhance end user experience with a a customized cellular network slice,” said Varma.


Vertical Bridge – CarbonNeutral Protocol

Vertical Bridge has shown its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first telecommunications tower company to be certified 100% carbon neutral in 2020 in accordance with the CarbonNeutral Protocol, recertifying in 2021, and pursuing ongoing recertification in 2022 and beyond. In addition, the company is actively pursuing a number of environmentally friendly tactics across its operations including upgrading its generators and HVACs to newer more efficient models with better SEER ratings and installing LED and avian-friendly lighting across its portfolio of towers, which save electricity, reduce maintenance costs, and lead to fewer avian deaths each year. Vertical Bridge’s latest innovation is its Custom Microgrid Solution, combining solar, wind turbine, and battery technologies to provide onsite power to its towers. Microgrids aren’t new, but the varied environments and needs of each tower preclude the use of off-the-shelf solutions and require customized applications. The company is currently testing nine microgrid solution deployments in four states: California; New York; Washington and Texas in order to assess and refine the technology in different environments. The combination of solar, wind, and battery power has been shown to reduce onsite electricity consumption by 25-50%. Vertical Bridge and its mobile carrier tenants will benefit from the cost savings, and reduced electricity consumption will alleviate stress on the power grid and harden the tower infrastructure against outages and disruptions.

“As we build more towers to support the exploding nationwide demand for 5G and broadband data, we remain committed to innovating and using technology to further reduce our environmental impact,” said Bernard Borghei, Vertical Bridge Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of Operations and initiator of the microgrid project. “Proving and deploying custom microgrid solutions that match the local environments and needs of our towers is a fantastic investment for our company, our customers, and our future.”

Connect with Vertical Bridge at Connect (X): Vertical Bridge Executive VP and Co-Founder, Bernard Borghei, is moderating the Greening of Infrastructure Panel and serving on the Network in a Box – Hyperscalers Panel. In addition, Vertical Bridge executives are on the following panels: View from the Top (CEO Alex Gellman); Building the Network Edge (EVP Dale Carey); Harnessing the Power of your Workforce (VP of National Accounts and Marketing Blair Crawford).


Check out last year’s innovations and inventors here: 2021 WIA Innovations and Inventors


WIA members, do you have an innovation and inventor you want to highlight here? Email Kristen Beckman for more information.