April 11, 2023

IWCE 2023: Top Takeaways from This Year’s Conference

With almost double the attendance from last year, the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) was undoubtedly a major success as events across the board seem to hit their mark a couple of years removed from COVID-19 shutdowns. Wireless and critical communications professionals gathered from around the globe to discuss various sectors including public safety, healthcare, utilities and government.

It was a special conference for us as we debuted FiRe-78-8-U, the new version of our popular FiRe™ Series fiber-optic public safety repeater capable of supporting up to 36 Remote Units (RU) to provide ubiquitous connectivity in venues larger than one million sq. ft. The hybrid in-building wireless solution couples our channelized 700/800MHz repeater with built in signal source and fiber DAS Head End (HE) in a single unit.

We appreciate everyone who stopped by our booth to learn about FiRe-78-8-U and other new product offerings including the UL 2524-certified battery backup (ADRF-BBU-W) and remote unit (ADXV-R-3378P-U). Beyond meeting our clients and partners, it was great to be part of the latest industry dialogue. Here are some of the most important news and discussions stemming from the show. 

4.9 GHz Needs Proper Management

In 2002, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated fifty megahertz of spectrum in the 4949-4990 GHz band for public safety use, pertaining to the protection of life, health or property. In the years to follow, the purpose of the band was questioned and being reconsidered. 

Now, the 4.9 GHz conversation is gaining momentum again as the FCC recently approved a proposal that would reiterate the public safety sector’s use of the band. It would also establish a sole band manager that would lead coordination efforts.

Many people, including professionals at IWCE, shared their perspectives on who the perfect manager would be. During a panel, Jeff Johnson who serves as Chief of Western Fire Chiefs, shared that he believes FirstNet should operate on the bandwidth. While some professionals agree, others are unsure because FirstNet is managed by AT&T. Regardless, the majority believes that the public safety sector should have priority access to the spectrum. 

The Complete ERCES Handbook is on the Market

The Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC) launched its Complete ERCES Handbook with NICET In-Building Public Safety Communications (IB-PSC) Study Guide at IWCE. Written by SBC and public safety experts from across the country, the unique handbook focuses on Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES).

The handbook offers guidance on the design, installation, and maintenance of ERCES and helps designers and technicians practice for the NICET certification. ADRF supports SBC’s efforts, recently sharing an endorsement of the guide that solves a long-time issue for the in-building wireless industry as it relates to training and certification for ERCES.

Wireless Will Take Center Stage As Large Global Sporting Events Come to America

As North America prepares for some of the largest sporting events such as the 2028 LA Olympic and Paralympic Games, the North America 2026 FIFA World Cup and the Rugby World Cup in 2031 over the next decade, a lot of technical planning and collaboration is needed to ensure a streamlined and safe process. David Michael, organizer of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, spoke at IWCE to share insights into the bidding and planning processes, explaining that the games will need around 500,000 workers. 

With millions of people around the world expected to watch the games live, data usage and network activity will be a priority for fans, facility employees, safety personnel and journalists. ADRF has a long history supporting major sport venues like those that will host the olympic games. If called upon, our DAS can support all the 5G and LTE bands required to make it an unforgettable fan experience.

From the speaking sessions to the networking, IWCE 2023 was one for the books! View the  recap video below for a more in-depth look at our time in Las Vegas! See you all next year in Orlando.