TIA Moderates White House 5G Summit Industry Leader Panel Discussion on Standards

On September 28, I had the honor of representing TIA at the White House summit on 5G technologies, and moderating a panel of industry leaders on the importance of standards for the future of 5G. At the summit, I and TIA’s Senior Policy Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, Dileep Srihari, got to hear from industry colleges, elected representatives, and several senior administration officials on the importance of continuing to lead strategic discussions around our country’s 5G future.

The Administration’s impressive lineup of speakers throughout the day included key policymakers such as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Michael Kratsios, NTIA Administrator David Redl, Congressman Greg Walden, and Senator John Thune. While the speakers focused on various aspects of 5G—such as increased spectrum availability and small cell deployment—all of them emphasized the importance of American leadership in the race to 5G and advocated for policy solutions that enable the U.S. to be competitive.

At the summit, I moderated a panel on the role of standards in 5G featuring industry experts and Dr. Walter G. Copan the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director. As we advance into a future of 5G technologies, standards have become more important than ever before. 

Technology standards are vital to the development of what our future has in store, including advancements to public safety and quicker access to data. A common theme throughout the panel was the fierce competition the U.S. is facing to be first in 5G. In fact, several panelists specifically noted that while the U.S. continues to lead in the race to 5G in terms of contributions, other countries like China and South Korea are progressing quickly and efficiently.

The Administration demonstrated its dedication to serious discussion and thought leadership by inviting Dean Garfield the President of the Information Technology Industry Council, Mike Nawrocki Vice President of Technology and Solutions at ATIS, Dr. Susie Armstrong, Senior VP of Engineering at Qualcomm, Fran Schrotter, Senior VP and COOat the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Travis Russell, Cybersecurity Director at Oracle, and John Marinho the Vice President of Spectrum Technology and Cybersecurity at CTIA, to sit on the afternoon panel. By inviting key industry leaders to not only attend but also participate in the summit, the White House ensured that panel discussions were substantive and reflected expert perspectives.

The White House’s inclusion of a panel on standards highlights the important role that standards play in the development and deployment of next generation networks. Standards make it possible to compare competing products while ensuring quality and benefiting public health, safety, and the environment. Panelists included a global perspective when presenting ideas about 5G standards and touched on specifics of working transnationally with allies to support U.S. ideas and 5G leadership. As TIA continues to work with industry leaders to advance standards and America’s role in 5G it was helpful to hear the audience’s questions on topics like leadership in standards working groups, public safety requirements, and patent licensing.

The White House summit was designed to bring together stakeholders from across government and industry for several important presentations and breakout discussion on the future of the 5G.  And it did exactly that. TIA was pleased to be included and provided with the opportunity to facilitate the important discussion of standards within a 5G future.


About Ken Koffman

Ken Koffman is the Senior VP of Standards and Technology at the Telecommunications Industry Association.