WIA CEO: The Internet of Things Requires a Network of Reality

Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), delivered a Keynote Address at the IT Expo conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday. Programming at the event focused on the latest technologies, regulatory issues, and trends in technology and telecommunications.

Adelstein discussed the future of wireless infrastructure and the close connection between mobile networks and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“The Internet of Things requires a Network of Reality,” Adelstein told the audience. “And wireless Infrastructure is that Network of Reality. IoT offers tremendous opportunities for new business and new technologies. But they will only be achieved if we position our communities and our businesses to be ready.


“In order to create this Network of Reality, we need to responsibly build and deploy all manner of wireless infrastructure including macro towers, rooftops, small cells, DAS, and Wi-Fi. This integrated infrastructure ecosystem gives wireless carriers and other users the bandwidth they need to meet the growing data demands on the networks.

“These dense 5G networks will be deployed as heterogeneous networks, or “hetnets.” This means combining macro sites with smaller base stations and using a range of radio access technologies including LTE-A, Wi-Fi and any future technologies. Our wireless networks need to include all of these pieces to deliver the coverage and the capacity we need for the Internet of Things.

“Most industry experts visualize an infrastructure that requires extreme densification in order to achieve the goals for downlink speeds, latency and coverage. While it is difficult to quantify today, the consensus is that future networks will rely heavily on small-cells in urban areas.

“Small cells are grabbing more headlines these days as carriers look for new ways to meet the exploding demand.

“To date, though, small cells haven’t proven as cost effective as originally forecast for technical, economic, and regulatory reasons. As a relatively new technology, technical issues are being overcome, but regulatory and administrative issues may be more problematic.”

In order for the wireless industry to overcome any potential regulatory and administrative obstacles, Adelstein said WIA is “working with federal, state and local governments to ensure that wireless technologies can be deployed as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

“Creating a predictable and fair business environment is vital to deploying better wireless networks. It’s tough for a company to make big investments without knowing what the rules are and without knowing that those rules won’t change.”

Connectivity was another major part of Adelstein’s remarks.

“Keeping devices and machines connected is vital to our communities. The only way cities and towns of all sizes are going to remain connected is through more wireless infrastructure.

“We need ubiquitous connectivity, and the path to complete coverage can’t be obstructed with irresponsible regulations. Some communities don’t realize how high the stakes are when it comes to the future of wireless coverage. People use their phones or benefit from sensors in their offices or cars, but they don’t fully appreciate the role infrastructure plays in delivering those services.”